• Middleweight

Collins feels Jones deal is close

ESPN staff
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Steve Collins has told ESPN that he is close to announcing a comeback fight with Roy Jones Jr.

The former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion has not fought since defending his title against Craig Cummings in 1997 and is now in the veteran stage at 48. Last year, Collins raised the tantalising prospect of a comeback by saying his one regret was never having stepped in the ring with Jones.

The pair have been in contact and Collins has made moves to clear the path for a comeback by applying for a licence. He claims his physical tests have come back positive and he is hoping to make an announcement soon.

"The latest is I've done a lot of work in the background," Collins said while appearing on Steve Bunce's ESPN podcast. "I've got a company now behind me who believe we have the money in place."

Collins has spoken to GoldenBoy Promotions, but Jones has made it clear he does not want them involved and it has caused concern to Collins.

"I've contacted somebody who's close to GoldenBoy and they came back to me and started to speak with the venues," he said. "But I got an email from Roy Jones with the hump saying 'why are you contacting GoldenBoy? We don't need to give him any money, we agreed to do it ourselves.'

"I said 'okay, fair enough then I won't do it with GoldenBoy'. That's the only input I've got from him for the whole thing, so rather than helping me put the fight on, he's telling me who he wants to do it with, who he won't do it with but he hasn't come up with anything.

"In the meantime in the background I've been putting out the feelers and had so many meetings in London and it's looking more and more positive each week and I have a funny feeling it could be weeks or days that we could announce."

The Irishman also added that he has been given an indication as to what sort of money Jones is looking for and feels that sum is within budget.

Collins is still to secure a licence, but is positive he will be given the green light to fight again. He said: "I've applied for licence, I've sent off, I've done all my tests. I spoke to the doctor yesterday who has just received the envelope so he'll go through the whole lot and make a decision.

"All the medicals are good and actually I'm a lot healthier than I expected and I've got really, really good results from the vision. My brain scan was described as being excellent so everything's very good, yeah. Healthy old thing you know."

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