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Collins: Spike has learnt from McGregor and got into Eubanks head – mind games will be key

Most predict it will be more all-out-war than chess match when Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan and Chris Eubank Jr trade leather in London on December 12, but the Cork fighter’s coach, Paschal Collins, believes there will be a battle of wits proceeding the first bell.

Mind craft will play a vital role who wins the eagerly anticipated grudge match claims the Celtic Warrior Gym boss.

The Collins brothers have mind games previous with the Eubanks after former World champion Steve messed with the head of Chris Senior before becoming the first man to beat the English fight legend back in 1995.

Indeed, Collins made the now infamous head doctor Tony Quinn as famous as Dr Quinn Medicine Woman ahead of one of the greatest nights in Irish sport, employing various tactics to get into the head of then-superstar super middleweight Eubank.

The fighter now known as ‘English’ admits the Celtic Warrior was the first fighter to have a mental affect over him in terms of making him want to beat up the Irish man in the build up to the clash, and states it played a part in his performance.

Steve Collins however has since stressed that all the Quinn antics were somewhat of a con and all he did was ensure that, unlike others before him, he wasn’t going to be beaten by the then-World champ before he even entered the ring.

Indeed, the Dubliner points to the fact he beat Eubank on the return as evidence he was the better of the two when they meet.

However, despite playing down the power of the mind element of those famous Irish victories, Spike’s trainer Paschal Collins believes the pre-fight head-to-head brain battle could prove as important as any physical contest in the ring come December 12th.

Speaking to Irish-boxing.com Collins claims the Cork middleweight has already gotten to Eubank Jr, and the years of taunting and Twitter back-and-forths have played a part.

“I think the fight will come down to experience and mind games,” said Collins.
“People talk a lot about mind games with Steve and Chris. There definitely was an element of that in the first fight. Eubank won most of his fights before he even stepped into the ring. He would get to people mentally with his demeanour, his entrance and all that. My brother Steve had seen it all before. He seen mind games all the time he was in the States and he beat Chris at his own games.
“Come the second fight there was no mind games they knew it was all a bit of a con and the second fight it came down to pure doggedness and he took the fight to Chris and beat him. So over the two fights he beat him in more than one department – he out-boxed him, he out-fought him and he out-smarted him,” he explained before addressing O’Sullivan versus Eubank Jnr.
“When I say mind games it will play a part in Spike’s success. Spike reminds me of Conor McGregor. Conor is very good at what he does, he gets into peoples heads and their minds. It really affects them and bothers them and I think Spike has done the same with Chris Eubank Jr. He has been doing it for a while and it’s working. Lets get this straight Eubank didn’t request this fight, Sky and Matchroom did.”
The other advantage Collins feels the former Irish and current NABA-USA champion has is experience.
“When it gets to the level where they are in there toe-to-toe in the heat of battle and the chips are down, I think Spike will have that extra hardness. He has been around the game for a lot longer than Eubank Jr. Out of both fighters Spike has the power and that will play a part too.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years