Paschal ‘Packie’ Collins is best known as Steve Collins’ brother but there is much more to this Irishman. Collins grew up around Marvin Hagler, masterminded a defeat over ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson and pulled pranks with Freddie Roach.
Collins grew up in Dublin in a tight-knit community, born into a fighting family. Dublin was a different world to what it is today when the Collins brother walked the streets.
“The neighbourhood I grew up in was a good neighbourhood but a tough neighbourhood so you had to know how to take care of yourself if it came to that,” Collins explained to proboxing-fans.com.
“Before I was born, my dad, this is my boxing family, him and his brothers all boxed they were prizefighters too. His brother, Terry his claim to fame was beating Reggie Kray in an amateur fight.”
It was only natural that Packie and his brother Steve followed in their father and uncles’ footsteps.
Packie never reached the heights of his brother but he highlighted his professional debut as one of his greatest moments.
“I arrived back at the Petronelli’s, it was ’94, around September ’94 I went back,” Collins continued.
“It just so happened my brother Steve had just won the middleweight belt from Chris Pyatt and his first defence was going to be in Boston on December 14th 1994.”
Now with a professional debut date booked in Packie could look forward to not only punching for a paycheque but to do it alongside his big brother.
“It was a Top Rank card, it just so happened my brother didn’t even fight on the card. The week of the fight he picked up a virus, but, that was my opportunity to make my professional debut.
“It turned out really well for me because I was the very last fight of the night as a swing bout which meant I was the very last fight ever at the old Boston Garden. The old Boston Garden was pulled down after that.”
The man from Dublin made quick work of his opponent, Victor Ramos, that evening much to the debutant’s dismay.
“It was also the quickest knockout at the Boston Garden. It was one of these guys where I hit him and he fell on the ground. I was trying to pick him up because I spent eight weeks in training camp for this to last something like 14 seconds.
“I was like, ‘get up, get up.’ I almost got disqualified.”
Packie would hang up his gloves after 16 bouts holding a record of 13-2-1 and fell into a trainer role.
Initially in an advisory role, Collins would end up training Kevin McBride for his victory over the baddest man on the planet, Mike Tyson for no pay.
Fast forward to today, the 49-year-old is still training and enjoying his time in the sport as he looks to take his charge, Spike O’Sullivan to a world title this year.
Check out the full interview below for the full story on McBride vs Tyson, his time with Freddie Roach and much more: