Published: April 17, 2005
By Mark Dempsey
17 April 2005
Source: Sunday Life
KEVIN McBride believes Mike Tyson is his ticket to a shot at the World heavyweight title.
McBride, from Smithboro near Monaghan, insists that he will rise to the occasion on the biggest night of his life when he clashes with former undisputed World heavyweight champion Tyson on June 11.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Life, McBride was adamant that he is not going to turn up at the MCI Centre in Washington DC simply to be a fall-guy for Tyson, who at 39 still harbours thoughts of taking on World No.1 Vitali Klitschko.
McBride has an added incentive as last year he saw his “dream fight” go up in smoke when Danny Williams took his place following a dispute over money. Williams duly stopped Tyson, who complained of a damaged knee.
“I don’t want Tyson to be making any excuses this time. I want him in the best shape of his life so when I knock him out there’ll be no complaining,” said McBride, who has been based in Boston for the past five years.
“It’s going to be an explosive fight that’s for sure. People may think I’m just a journeyman but they haven’t seen the real Kevin McBride. I’m totally focused and I know I can beat him.
“The last time I was so gutted when the fight fell through but I didn’t give up hope of fighting Tyson again and I just kept fighting, waiting for my chance.
“It’s a dream come true for me because I watched him as I grew up. He was world champion around the same time as Barry McGuigan. They were my two favourite fighters and I always said that one day I would love to fight Mike Tyson.
“I thought that chance was going to come last year. The deal seemed to be done but then it suddenly collapsed.
“Now the fight is on and I’m just over the moon. An Ulsterman and an Irishman fighting Mike Tyson – not many people would have believed that.”
McBride has already been working out with some of the top heavyweights in the world and feels that his preparation may well give him the opportunity to overcome the massive odds against him defeating the self-proclaimed ‘Baddest man on the planet’.
“As soon as I heard that there was a possibility of the fight coming off I started to get in some good sparring. I’ve been working out with Chris Byrd (IBF World champion) and Calvin Brock, who’s a top contender.
“That has been great and I’ll be making sure that I do everything right because I know that I am going to shock the world.
“I have knocked out my last seven opponents and although they may not be in the same league as Tyson, I know I have the power to hurt him.
“It’s going to be a great night for Irish boxing. I have eight weeks to get ready and I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Tyson has everything to lose.”
Tyson, who filed for bankruptcy last year after amassing a ring fortune of around £200m, insists that when he meets McBride it will be a “train wreck”.
Certainly the former champion can still talk a good fight but whether or not he can ever return to being a serious world title contender is open to question.
Meanwhile, Colin Moffatt and Stevie Quinn will clash for the Northern Ireland and British Masters bantamweight title at the Ulster Hall on Saturday.
Moffatt, from Dundonald, and Newtownards man Quinn top the bill following the withdrawal of Darren Corbett.
While both men are on the fringe of British title contention, this should prove to be a fine, evenly matched duel with the winner then pressing his claim for a crack at the Lonsdale belt.