Friday, September 20, 2019

Fighting Man: Tyler Collins ready for another go around in the ring

Some people are born to scrap whether it's on a mat, in the cage, or in the boxing ring and Lake Milton native, Tyler Collins is one of those people.

Collins fell in love with combat sport in second grade when he tuned into the Ultimate Fighter television series and put himself on the path to pursue his newfound passion by joining the Jackson-Milton Blue Jays youth wrestling program.

Now at age 26, the former Blue Jay is living out his childhood dream.

With a handful of amateur MMA fights under his belt, Collins who does his MMA training at Top Tier MMA in Pittsburgh has been professional in the sport since 2017 and is coming off a victory two weeks ago via arm-triangle choke.

Now Collins will turn his attention to the boxing ring, a sport in which he has no amateur experience in but found that he enjoys it as he does his training at Youngstown's Downtown Boxing Club.

"I do a lot more pad work and jump rope," Collins said of switching his training mode from MMA to boxing.  "This camp has been tougher however since I'm coming off an MMA match I've found myself wanting to kick and take people down and can't so its thrown me off a little bit".

This will be the second pro boxing bout for Collins who dropped a hard-fought decision back in May.

"I already feel physically prepared for this bout and now I'm just making the adjustments for the rules since its two different fighting stances and strategy," said Collins of his ring approach this time around as opposed to his last go around.  "My last MMA fight I used more standup and only threw one kick to counter my opponents cross and he grabbed me so I had to unleash the grappling and choke him out".

Now Collins will take his hard work and focus it on undefeated Pittsburgh native Richie Cantolina.

Collins will face Cantolina (4-0) in a slated 4-round middleweight bout this Saturday night at The Meadows Casino and Racetrack in suburban Pittsburgh on the WFC promoted card.

"I'm excited to see how much my boxing has improved since my last time out," said Collins of his upcoming bout.  "I took no damage the last time but didn't knock the dude out so he got the hometown decision, a situation I could find myself in this weekend but this time I'm in better shape coming off a fight and have more experience in the ring than the last fight which was only a 9-day camp so this should be a good scrap on Saturday night".

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