Benn and Collins ready to unify title

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The Independent Online

Nigel Benn acknowledged Steve Collins' achievements this year in the ring after watching him retain his World Organisation super-middle- weight title on Saturday night, but he underlined his confidence in the outcome of a unification fight with the Irishman by conceding home advantage.

The World Council champion was a model of discretion after watching Collins follow up two victories over Chris Eubank by defying the challenge of Cornelius Carr and taking a unanimous points decision in Dublin.

Benn was sure he would prevail in a toe-to-toe battle against Collins, whatever the venue. His promoter, Frank Warren, believes that fight will take place providing Benn overcomes the South African Thulane Malinga in a mandatory defence early in the new year.

Benn said: "Steve has done his bit. Now I have to keep my side of the bargain with a successful defence. I have the utmost respect for him."

Collins, who plans one more fight before facing Benn, possibly in April or May, bulldozed his way to a unanimous decision over Middlesbrough's Carr although many at ringside thought he was flattered by two judges declaring him the winner by a margin of four rounds and the third by six.

n A cashier was shot and killed during a raid by four armed robbers at the hall near Cape Town where Warren Stowe, a British middleweight, was fighting South Africa's Simon Maseko. Stowe and his opponent dived out of the ring when the first of four shots rang out. Spectators threw themselves on the floor, scattering chairs. The fight was abandoned.