James L. Collins Jr., former pro boxer


James L. "Cobby" Collins Jr., 68, a South Baltimore fighter who was inducted into the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame in 1982, died of liver disease Thursday at St. Agnes Hospital.

Services for Mr. Collins were held yesterday at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville.

He began his career punching a bag in the back room of Jack Portney's pool hall, then at Light and West streets in South Baltimore. He fought 35 amateur fights on the local circuit and won the Hearst Diamond Belt in 1938.

Measuring 5-foot-3 and weighing about 150 pounds, Mr. Collins fought as a welterweight. He began boxing professionally in 1939.

Serving in the Army during World War II, he fought in United Service Organizations tournaments.

He continued fighting until 1948. His record was 23-15-2 with five knockouts.

He worked 25 years as a truck driver for the Maryland Cup Co. and retired in 1987.

Mr. Collins' survivors include his wife of 37 years, the former Lillian E. Currans; a stepdaughter, Mary Campbell, and two stepsons, Arnett and Vincent Campbell, all of Baltimore; two brothers, Walter Collins of Middle River and William Collins of Baltimore; four sisters, Louise Ledmun, Anna Cohen and Virginia Collins, all of Baltimore, and Jeannette Fiebel of Dundalk; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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