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21 NOVEMBER 2018

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Collins Opens New Gym And Reveals How McBride Beat Tyson

McBride towers over Iron Mike Tyson
McBride towers over Iron Mike Tyson

By Gerry Hand: In his fourth professional fight Paschal Collins out-pointed a Mexican called Jorge VERA, eight fights down the line he out boxed Jack Duckworth.

Having cleaned up the best known couple on Coronation Street(British Soap) the sky seemed the limit for the youngest member of the sporting Collins clan that has produced two time world champion Steve and soccer manager Roddy.

However things didn’t quite work out as planned, and a severe cut sustained accidentally in training, saw Collins graduate towards the training side of things,

His pro record of 16-2-1 shows Collins could have been a contender but he’s happy with the way things stand at the moment.

"I was preparing for a fight in Boston six years ago when I got cut with a head butt in sparring, I needed twenty two stitches so obviously I had to pull out of the fight , Kevin McBride the heavyweight from Clones was my room mate at the time and he also had a bout on the bill, he asked me to train him for it and it went from there."

Most trainers have to work their way up the ladder before the big fights arrive, but McBride won that Boston bout and incredibly secured a shot at heavyweight legend Mike Tyson, leaving Collins involved in a massive fight after just one solitary bout as a corner man.

"For the Tyson fight I told Kevin I would only work with him if he did things properly so we booked into a hotel in Brockton Massachusetts beside the gym belonging to Good and Pat Petronelli where Marciano(Rocky), Hagler(Marvin) and later our Steve trained.

"My wife lived just ten miles down the road, and Kevin’s girlfriend lived even closer but I had to keep an eye on him morning noon and night

"Especially at night, Kevin liked a drink, and there were nights when he told me he was just going for a walk, and I had to tell him he wasn’t and to get back into bed, I was glad he listened to me because if he had said he was leaving the room it would have been a struggle to stop him, he had nearly seven stone on me.

"There is a park beside the gym called DW Fields and the first day I said to Kevin that we would do a four mile run around it just to loosen up.

"Somehow we managed to get lost and ended up running around in circles for about ten miles before we got out of the place, but the thing was Kevin never stopped running the whole time, I knew then he was determined to prepare correctly for the fight".

Bear in mind that Collins himself trained in Petronelli’s gym and would use the park for running on a regular basis and decide for yourself whether or not he really got lost, or set out to test McBride’s desire !!

Come fight night Paschal pulled off yet another piece of kiddology.

"Somebody from our camp had to go in and make sure that Tyson’s hands were taped correctly, so I made them re do the taping twice, just to show them we were serious. and then I delayed as long as I could before leaving.

"I went back in and apologised to Kevin for the delay but told him that Tyson was that nervous his hands were shaking so badly it took ages for them to tape them, he says to me "Are you serious", and I told him I was that Tyson thought he had an easy night ahead of him up until how well he saw Kevin looked at the weigh in and that after that his bottle had gone.

Kevin then took out Brylcreem and started to gell his hair, and said "I have to look good when I beat him all the cameras will be on me".

Five rounds later Tyson was an ex heavyweight, boxer retiring from the sport after McBride floored him to win by TKO.

It should have been the making of the pair, but instead they haven’t worked together since and the heavyweight has lost four of his five subsequent fights.

"I love Kevin to bits, but he listened to the wrong people after the Tyson fight, I’d love to work with him again,. There’s not a really great heavyweight around now, he could still be as good as what’s around."

Collins admits, "I sat and watched how Freddie Roach and Goody Petronelli trained boxers, I stood on the ring apron and watched and more importantly listened, and I was one of Steve’s main sparring partners for a lot of his fights so I knew the game inside out."

And brotherly love counted for nothing between the ropes.

"Steve was fighting Craig Cummings in Glasgow, and he asked me to spar six round with him in a ring that was erected in a shopping centre in a bid to promote the fight.

"I had just come over from Boston to watch the Cummings fight and hadn’t been in training so he told me he would go easy and we would just make it look good for Sky TV, he hit me with such hard body shots that midway through the second round I wanted to throw up.

"I’d hate to feel it if he was trying to hurt me"!

The Collins brothers have opened the Celtic Warriors gym, and a fourth brother, the non sporting one, Michael is Paschal’s right hand man, and it’s from there in connection with top promoter Frank Warren things are starting to shape up.

"We have a promotions partnership with Ocean FM an Irish owned management company, and the whole thing is ready to take off

"Stephen Ormond, , Spike O’Sullivan and Karl Brabazon are on the Liverpool bill, Karl is making his pro debut and he is well able to handle Stephen and Spike in training, Ian has to make a name for himself on this bill, he;s fighting a tough durable guy, and it’s chance to make a real mark on the sport".

However Ormond’s bout with the very experienced Carl Johanneson could be the stepping stone to something special for the Dubliner.

"It’s fairly straightforward, Stephen is ranked number 15 by the WBO, if he wins the interim belt he moves into their top five, and could be in line to fight Ricky Burns the Scottish lad who is the current champ.

"His fight with Johanneson will be a war neither of them like to go backwards, but I think Stephen is the smarter boxer, and can outscore him".

It’s not the biggest fight night he has been involved in but for Collins the aim is simple, "I want to produce World and European champions that is the goal, the minimum criteria for getting inside the door of our gym is that you have to have the potential to be a champion at least at European level".

The current Irish fighter with the potential to lift the sport again would appear to be female boxer Katie Taylor, but while Collins concedes he would love to train her he has a word of warning, "I would definitely be interested in training Katie, she has all the skills and talent going, but then again I had potential and determination and skills myself, what I didn’t have was luck".

Maybe that is about to change for the better.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Friday night’s Liverpool show mentioned in the above article has been postponed and rescheduled for Friday 27th January 2012.

December 7, 2011

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