He was a Gary Russell Jr fan before Saturday night when his charge Patrick Hyland challenged him for the WBC featherweight championship of the World.
Paschal Collins may now just be a paid up member of the Russell Jr fan club.
Pre-fight the Celtic Warrior Gym boss told Irish-boxing.com he felt the American was a pound-for-pound star, although he did think Hyland may have caught the Champ at the right time and certainly wasn’t expecting the Dubliner to be knocked out before the second round was through.
Now after seeing the WBC belt holder in the flesh he is adamant he is a special fighter, one that could beat the much avoided Guillermo Rigondeaux and one that possesses the kind of talent, speed and power that means losing to him is not disgrace.
“Put it this way Gary Russell Jr is a brilliant fighter,” Collins told Irish-boxing.com.
“I think people underestimate Russell Jr, he is a World class talent. I knew that going into the fight, just look at his record and his experience as an amateur, but when you see him from ringside rather than on TV you get a better appreciation for what he can do.
“I think he would Rigondeaux if Rigo moved up, people might think I am crazy saying that but I honestly think he would.”
The featherweight division is packed with stars and talent, but Collins believes Russell Jr is the one to watch at the weight.
“I think he will be avoided by the featherweights now. It is no disgrace losing to him. His speed is unreal and he caught Pajo and Pajo never really recovered. He wasn’t hurt per say as after the fight he got the all clear, but he was rocked. It was more Pajo’s pride that was hurt getting stopped for the first time, even dropped for the first time, but there is no disgrace in losing to Russell Jr.”