By Keith Idec
Junior middleweight contender Glen Tapia will encounter Keenan Collins in his first fight since James Kirkland stopped him in the sixth round Dec. 7 in Atlantic City.
Tapia (20-1, 12 KOs), of Passaic, N.J., and Collins (15-8-3, 10 KOs, 1 NC) are scheduled to box in a non-televised 10-rounder June 14 at Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City. Handlers for the 24-year-old Tapia, who is promoted by Top Rank Inc., made sure to choose a relatively safe foe to see how he responds following a brutal bout against the hard-hitting Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) in his HBO debut.
Collins, of York, Pa., hasn’t fought since middleweight contender Danny Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs) beat him by technical knockout in the fourth round a year ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 37-year-old Collins also has been stopped by Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs) and journeyman Doel Carrasquillo (17-25-1, 14 KOs) during his 10-year pro career.
Tapia began working with new trainer Freddie Roach two weeks ago at Roach’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. Roach will not be able to work Tapia’s corner June 14, however, because Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs), whom Roach also trains, will face Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs), of Huntington, N.Y., in an HBO main event the same night at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.