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Collins retains WBO super-middle title for sixth time

February 8, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ Steve Collins of Ireland retained his WBO super-middleweight title for the sixth time by stopping Frederic Seillier of France in the fifth round Saturday night.

Referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight at 2:20 of the fifth on the advice of the ringside doctor, with Seillier bleeding profusely from cuts over his nose and left eye.

Collins improved his record to 35-3, while Seillier dropped to 43-7-3.

Collins, who won the title from Britain’s Chris Eubank in 1995, immediately launched a challenge to IBF champion Roy Jones Jr. of the United States.

``Roy Jones, I’ll fight you any time, anywhere, any place,″ he said. ``You’re running scared. I will expose you. We know you are just a pretender. Be a man and fight me.″

Collins was in control from the opening bell, keeping the Frenchman on the defensive with body punches. Seillier occasionally landed right-hand counters but never looked capable of mounting a serious challenge.

Seillier, the former European champion, sustained the cut over his eye in the second round and Collins opened up a gash on the bridge of his nose with an overhand right in the fifth.

Both men weighed 167 1/2 pounds for the fight, one of four world title bouts at the London Arena.

``I had problems getting motivated for this fight because I knew he was a class below me,″ Collins said. ``But I knew it was not going to go to points.″

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