Collins wants additional rounds in boxing career

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2004

So far, Adam Collins' professional boxing career has been short. However, he plans to make it a lot longer.

In his first professional fight last month in Cleveland, it took Collins all of 1:20 to knock out Trevor Biley. The thrill of the victory has reinforced Collins' plans to pursue the pro boxing circa.

"I love to box and I want to get 10 wins," Collins said. "I like the fact I get to see the best parts of the world and I get to box."

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The "10 wins" was in reference to the magic number that gets boxers in a position to fight the top competitors and earn a big purse.

"Boxing is all about marketing. You can't market yourself until you get 10 wins. If you get the wins and the right management backing, you can market yourself for better fights," Collins said.

Management right now for Collins is coming from trainers Terrence Kelly, Dale Peoples and Sam Jones plus pro heavyweight fighter Jeremy Bates and Dave Ashley. Collins said he has had some contact with officials in Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

At 180 pounds, Collins is in the light heavyweight division. His power punch has made him attractive

to some management groups, but Collins knows it's a long road to the upper echelon of the sport.

"Jeremy is in the mix. He's helping me out," Collins said. "Ashley could get me some more fights. He's a great guy with a lot of knowledge. He judges all the Tough Man and pro fights in West Virginia.

"Boxing is something you have to be dedicated to and you have to have financial backing. There's not a lot of financial sponsorship in this area."

Besides financial support, another stumbling block for Collins is juggling a pro boxing career and his regular job with the U.S. Penitentiary in Inez, Ky.

"I think I can get 10 wins, but it's not easy with my work schedule," Collins said. "Right now I work out some and help some of the young guys get ready for their fights.

"But when I have a fight come up, I train three hours. I run three miles and come in (the gym) and work out. I do that and work my job. It wears on you."

But Collins doesn't mind the grind. Ever since he picked up his first glove, he's been enamored with the sport.

It was at the suggestion of Bates in July of 2000 that Collins first made a serious attempt at boxing.

"I ran into Jeremy one night at a Tough Man and we hit it off. After two or three months, he asked me if I ever boxed. I tried it and I've been (in the gym) ever since," Collins said.

Collins began his career with the Tough Man, winning 11 of 13 fights with 10 knockouts. He followed that with two amateur fights, both wins including a knockout of Joe Abcory which proved to be his opponent's last fight.

"The thing about the Tough Man is if you have some boxing skills, you know how to get hit and absorb a punch, and you know how to throw a punch. I was able to throw three straight punches and hit all of them," Collins said.

"I had five fights in one night at one Tough Man. But boxing teaches you a lot of discipline and how to keep your composure."

With just 16 total fights and being 28 years old, Collins is considered very inexperienced. But he notes he matured very late and that his age and lack of punishment in the ring can work in his favor. He's also worked Bates' corner for 23 pro fights.

"All the great fighters like Ali and Frazier and Foreman didn't fight anybody early in their careers. They got to work rounds and fight opponents they knew they could beat," Collins said. "My body is still young and I'll go as far as my body and ability take me."

For now, Collins is trying to line up another fight in July with or without financial backing. He said the money is not a factor.

"Right now, I'm just about getting better and having fun. It's not about money. I want to get some wins and fight for an international title," Collins said.

And Collins just might fight for a title some day. That is, if he keeps his career going a little longer.