John Collins vs Lenny LaPaglia – Highlights (Underrated, Exciting FIGHT)


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March 20th, 1983. On this day, undefeated 22 year old hard hitting Middleweights; Lenny LaPaglia aka “The Rage” and John Collins fought in an exciting albeit underrated 10 rounder with the vacant Illinois State Middleweight Title on the line.

Prefight records; Collins 26(24)-0, LaPaglia 19(18)-0.

Lenny LaPaglia was the Chicago Golden Gloves Novice Middleweight Champion at 165 pounds in 1978 while John Collins won the Chicago Golden Gloves Open Division Championship twice; at 165 pounds in 1979 and at 154 pounds in 1980.

Both Collins and LaPaglia debuted in late 1980, and neither have suffered a loss about 2 1/2 years into their pro careers. This is the 1st title fight for both men.

At this point, Collins was ranked No. 10 by the WBA and No. 12 by the WBC while LaPaglia was still unranked. Overall, Collins was the more experienced fighter who had gone the distance twice while LaPaglia had never fought beyond 4 rounds.

From the opening bell, the fight was exciting all the way especially in the early goings and late rounds. In the 10th and final frame, Collins scored the only official knockdown of the fight with less than 10 seconds left to the final bell.

** A slight controversy occurred towards the end of the 5th round, when referee Stanley Berg was trying to break the 2 fighters apart Collins threw a right hand that floored LaPaglia after the bell. It was appropriately ruled a no knockdown, but Collins was not deducted a point and LaPaglia was not given extra resting time. This part is not shown in my video, due to some technical issues with the original footage.

Collins became the Illinois State Middleweight Champion via UD with scores of 49-41, 47-44, 47-43.

After his 1st career setback, LaPaglia would go 17-8 and retired in 1995. His last bout was a bid to capture the WBU Cruiserweight Championship from the legendary Thomas Hearns which he lost via TKO1. His final record stands at 36(33)-9.

On the other hand, Collins picked up 2 more wins after this before facing Tony Sibson in October 1983 and lost via TKO2. He fought and lost his last fight in March 1986, against Marvin Hagler’s half brother, Robbie Sims.

Collins’ final record stands at 34(30)-2-1. During his 6 year career, he had fought against other notable oppositions such as Doug DeWitt, Alex Ramos and Teddy Mann. His best victory is perhaps a TKO2 against then undefeated 32(15)-0 Mark Holmes (younger brother of the great Larry Holmes).

Both Collins and LaPaglia retired with about 90% of their wins coming by way of knockouts.

Hope you guys enjoy the highlights of this underrated bout, and remember to SUBSCRIBE!