Collins hoping to take swing at West Virginia title belt

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

Revenge is sweet, even if it comes through another venue.

When Ironton boxer Adam Collins lost to Jason Smith last May 27, he couldn’t wait to prove himself.

Two weeks ago, Collins got the chance when he fought Robbie Straus at Wheeling Island, W.Va. Straus had beaten Smith, so Collins knew a good showing against Straus would earn him redemption in the eyes of the boxing promoters.

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But Collins didn’t have a good showing. He had a great showing.

Collins knocked out Straus in the second round and put himself in line for a title bout for the West Virginia light-heavyweight championship belt.

Collins said there were some extra circumstances that led to his loss to Smith and his win over Straus.

“Against Smith, I’d just worked almost 10 hours that day at the prison (in Inez, Ky.) and I was still in my work clothes when I got to the fight. I learned a lesson,” Collins said.

Since that time Collins switched trainers. He now works with Gary Wolfe of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Sam Jones of Glouser. He also works out with area boxer Jeremy Bates.

“The new style I fight with caught Straus by surprise. He didn’t expect it. I caught him with a left hook in the first round and dazed him,” Collins said. “I hit him with a left hook and a right hand at the end of the second round just before the bell and he went down.”

“I only had 13 days notice to get ready for the fight. It took me forever to make weight,” Collins said.

Not only was it Collins’ fifth win, more importantly it opened some of the eyes in the boxing ranks.

“I took this fight as a stepping stone. I just wanted to see where I was. I knew when I lost to Jason Smith I had a bad night. I’m a different fighter now,” Collins said.

“That was a huge win for me. (Promoter Jerry Thomas) wants to sign me to a contract.”

Collins figures to fight again as early as January and as late as Ferbuary. As the No. 1-ranked light-heavyweight boxer in West Virginia, he could get a title fight in May or June, possibly against Anthony Williams of Beckley, W.Va.

Collins said his work with Bates, a cruiserweight, has been invaluable.

“He’s good to work with. No one around here hits as hard as he does,” Collins said.

While Bates is a cruiser weight, Collins prefers staying in the light-heavyweight division.

“I’m one of the strongest guys in my class. It’s really a smaller weight class for my body weight,” Collin said.

“It took me forever to make weight (for the Straus fight). I ran two miles the night before in a sauna suit. I had a pedialyte right before the fight and two tall Cokes the morning of the fight.”