The coach says the Dubliner had covid when the offer was made, and as a result, his manager and coach, Collins rebuffed the offer.
Earlier in the month Hanney had accused O’Connor of going back on a gentleman’s agreement and ‘bottling it again’. The Boxing Ireland fighter claimed the Celtic Warriors operator had agreed to trade leather before ‘going missing’.
Collins wanted to make sure it was known that wasn’t the case and told Irish-boxing.com that he turned down the offer to fight on Celtic Clash 13 in Belfast before his fighter even knew it had been tabled.
“Niall O’Connor was actually very sick with Covid so my concern right now is his health,” Collins explained.
“There was a story from Irish boxing saying that Niall O’Connor got a call, Niall never got a call. I got the call and I said no because Niall has Covid, so he’s gonna be out for two or three weeks.
“The most important thing right now for Niall is his health, some people have it mild some people have it bad and he had it bad. And that’s the whole thing he wouldn’t back down from anybody, he would fight anybody. It was a decision I made because he’s very sick at the moment. When I got Niall on the phone I told him I had been offered a fight but I refused it because he is sick.”
After clarifying the O’Connor situation Collins addressed Hanney v Ray Moylette talk. Mayo’s Moylette has revealed he is willing to fight the Dubliner next month, indeed he says he has agreed to the fight.
However, there is now talk Hanney and Declan Geraghty will fight for the Irish title in late February or early March.
Collins reveals ‘Sugar Ray’ had agreed to fight Hanney in 2021 and was set to share the ring with him on the cancelled National Basketball Arena card. As a result the experienced coach expected the fight to be remade for Celtic Clash 13.
“I thought because this fight was initially set between Ray and Jake for November 20th in the Basketball Arena that it would still happen and that’s why I just put it out there that Ray would be ready for the 26th [of February]. It was nothing against Jake, Jake is a good lad and I wouldn’t disrespect any fighter. Basically, Ray can fight on the 26th if that suits them and if not we move on. We have one or two fights lined up for Ray but Ray versus Jake would be a good fight between two good lads.”