Collins, who helped train McGregor in boxing, says he knew McGregor would make an impact in the sport.
Four years ago, I always reckoned that he could have gone all the way in boxing for the reason that his work ethic is unbelievable. You know when somebody walks into a room and stands out. I would watch him for an hour and he’d practice the same move over and over. He’s brave, he’s got a heart, and he’s afraid of nobody.
Collins, who beat Chris Eubank in 1995, says that if McGregor is willing to be trained by his brother, Paschal, he could beat Mayweather.
If he comes up with my brother and does training in his gym, and if he gets a Mayweather fight, we’ll sit down and put together a plan for him to beat Mayweather and if he follows our plan, he’ll beat him. Everybody can be beaten if you put together the right plan. I know that from experience…I looked at Mayweather and said, ‘Do you know what, if Conor is going to beat him, this is how he could do it’. My brother Paschal and I sat down and we put together a strategy, one day chatting, on how we would prepare him to fight Mayweather. We would show him how to win…We communicate with him and John Kavanagh’s his trainer, he’s a great guy. John Kavanagh knows that we are the boxing brains in Ireland. The only reason I’m saying that is because McGregor has the ability to do it. He’s a super athlete who can change his style. Some guys are set, ingrained in a certain way of fighting. He’s not. He can change. That’s what makes him great and that’s why he’s so popular.
Paschal Collins, comments on McGregor’s boxing skills, after he beats Max Holloway.
Honestly, I think he will be a phenomenon in Boston. He’s an aggressive fighter, he’s great with his hands and he’s quick with his tongue too – he’s everything that the Americans think an Irishman should be. I was just looking at him the last time he was down here and his eyes were dancing around in his head – he’s a bit of a madman and I suppose you have to be in the fight game. He’s just got that star quality, it’s clear for everyone to see and he deserves it. He works hard, he fights hard and I wish him all the best on Saturday…Conor already had a pedigree in boxing from his early days in Crumlin when he came up to us. It was really his first martial art. It’s been a while since he has been down with us. He was just about to head off to Sweden before I saw him last time, but I’ve always been very impressed by what he can bring to the table. The first time he came up to us was about two years ago, but his development in that period has been unbelievable. His approach is second to none, he’s confident and he has natural power and ability – and that’s priceless in this game. What we can never quite believe is the amount of work he puts in. A lot of times he’d be down to us in the afternoon and he would’ve already been grappling for the whole morning. He comes down here and he can hold his own with world champions like Spike and Stephen, he’s a very capable boxer.