Calzaghe's challenge to wary Collins

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The Independent Online
A supremely confident Joe Calzaghe is determined to take Steve Collins' World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight crown, providing the Dubliner decides to defend his title at the Sheffield Arena on 11 October.

The fight has yet to be officially made as Collins is apparently still in negotiations with the promoter, Frank Warren, although he knows he will be stripped of his crown unless he faces Calzaghe, the No 1 challenger.

However, the undefeated Welshman and Warren both believe Collins will mount a defence, otherwise, as Calzaghe said: "If he sidesteps me then he is going to be called a chicken."

Collins, who walked out of the first news conference to promote the fight two weeks ago in London, failed to arrive at yesterday's meeting at the arena as he cited "circumstances beyond my control". Instead he linked up via a telephone from his home in Dublin.

Initially, Collins said he would not fight Calzaghe under any circumstances and felt the man with a record of 21 knockouts in his 22 wins was unworthy as an opponent.

But Calzaghe said: "I am sure Steve will defend the title with dignity against the No 1 contender in me. He has been a good champion but it's for him to give up his crown now."