There's no doubt that Joe Collins is feeling postitive about his bout later this month.
But then there’s very little he isn’t positive about.
The 27-year-old takes on Tom Price at Bowler’s, Trafford Park on September 20 and he’s relishing the chance to get back in the ring after success in his last outing.
Collins took out Matt Seawright in a points victory in June at the same venue and he admits he can’t wait for the opening bell, though certain family memebrs may choose to cheer him on from afar.
“My mother is always in two minds whether to come to my fights,” he said. “The last one was a bit of a bloodbath, though it wasn’t my blood I?have to say.
“I don’t know why the referee didn’t stop it, the other lad was absolutely covered, all over – when I hit him all this coating of blood was splashing everywhere.”
And while it couldn’t be called a clean match Collins is certain that what he’s been doing outside the ring will benefit him inside it.
“I’ve been sparring with David Barnes, he’s a former two-time British champion. He never lost his title belts, he had a bit of bad luck with hand injuries and he had to be stripped because he couldn’t defend his titles through injury.
“It’s tough but that’s the way this business is, it can be cut-throat and if you don’t get your throat cut you can get stabbed in the back.
“Mind you, he could probably win a lot of matches with one good hand, he really is that good – naturally very fit and so talented.?
“I’ve sparred with the likes of Ricky and Matthew Hatton, I’ve hit them, really caught them but I could never catch him.
With the Hattons now both retired Collins, who’s also building up his plumbing and heating company,
“I wish Matthew all the best now he’s announced he’s quitting. He stepped out of his brother’s shadow and he’s a lovely lad, he deserves every success.
“He’s a great friend of mine and I’ve been lucky enough to punch him in the head. I have with many of my idols, Ricky too. I never thought I’d have the chance to get in the ring with him. The first time I sparred with Ricky I was starstruck but I snapped out of it straight away because he hit me – hard.?I held my own though.
“They’re legends. I’m lucky, I’ve been able to punch some of my idols in the face. I’d love it if one day a younger lad thought the same about hitting me in a spar. If I can give some young fighter the same pleasure that I’ve had from it I’ll be happy tat I’m handing something down, just as these lads did.”
And with 10 days to go until his Price fight there’s more characters investing their time in Collins, who added:?“Obviously I’m training hard with Bob Shannon and I’m working with Billy Isaacs too, he’s got a colourful past but he’s a real character, he gets me in the right frame of mind.?
“I feel lucky to have him around, he’s an ex-pro himself until he had a bad back injur. He’s a great bloke, I’m lucky to have him.
“Bob has been putting me through a lot of drill work, he’s a fantstic trainer, another real fighting man. He can watch a fight and pick out the tiny little details that can make all the difference.
“A tremendous boxing man, I’ve never met a bloke like him.
“I’ve got all the ingredients in place, I’ve surrounded myself with positivity, I think that’s how you make positive things happen. It’s a working atmosphere in the gym, day in and day out and that’s how I’ll get success.”