Published: April 20, 2005
Frank Maloney spoke with Boxing-Central about the June 11 heavyweight non-title clash between Kevin McBride and Mike Tyson. Maloney worked with McBride for several years during the early part of his career and was happy to pass on his thoughts on how the Irishman will fair against the former heavyweight champion.
“I worked with Kevin McBride from his second pro fight until 1998 and I always found him to be a big, honest fighter, but he’s more brawn than brains in the ring. He’s as powerful as an ox, relying on that brute strength but he’s very slow and robotic.
“At one point in 1997 I was offered a fight with Mike Tyson for Kevin to the amount of $750,000. I said no for the time being to protect McBride for his own good. I was hesitant about a Tyson fight so I said that I would see how Kevin got on with his next opponent and maybe afterward we’d consider it. In his next fight he was knocked out by a guy named Louis Monaco, whose record at the time was four wins, six losses and two draws. I was quite pleased that I had said no in principle to a Tyson fight.
“People said to me after the fact that if Kevin was going to get knocked out, at least it could have been by Tyson, but getting knocked out by Tyson is a completely different thing than getting knocked out by anybody else. It’s much worse and tends to have a detrimental effect on a fighter’s confidence for the rest of his career.
More quotes available in the extended section of this post (click ‘Read More‘ below).
“I look at McBride’s record and the best fight he had under me was when he fought the German, Axel Schultz. Even though Kevin was stopped in the ninth round, that was his best performance, win, lose or draw. Two fights later he went and got knocked out in the third round by a guy called Michael Murray who had a record of fifteen wins and sixteen losses. He’s a big brave boy McBride, but he doesn’t hold a shot well as his record does show.
“McBride has a good number of wins on his record but you have to look at who he’s fought. Also, all four of his losses have come by stoppage and that doesn’t say much for a man who wants to get in with even a diminished Mike Tyson.
“One problem I foresee is that Kevin is so slow in the ring, you can actually see him thinking about throwing punches. He’s like a car that you can put into gear but it doesn’t go into the gear straight away. He’ll be brave, very brave against Tyson and he’ll go out and try to swing away. The trouble is that his chin doesn’t match his strength. No one gets knocked out by a fighter like Michael Murray and that was Kevin’s last fight for me.
“It was a mistake last time for Tyson to be fighting Danny Williams but this is the safest fight they could ever pick for Mike Tyson in the heavyweight division. If Tyson doesn’t take this guy out within three rounds he better think about retiring from boxing. I think it’s a mistake for Tyson to still be fighting but I think Mike will still beat McBride. He’ll hit too hard for Kevin, but I don’t think it’s boxing people who still follow Mike Tyson because I’ve been on the websites and read the comments. Most boxing people will show no interest in this fight.
“Kevin has served his dues, he’s worked his way up and every time he’s lost a fight he’s come back in the ring. He deserves this opportunity and I hope he’s getting well paid for it. Even with no belt at stake, this will be McBride’s world title opportunity. It reminds me of the Tyson – Julius Francis fight but I believe this will be even easier for Mike Tyson than the Julius Francis fight was, even given the state Tyson is in now. That’s no disrespect to Kevin McBride it’s just that styles make fights and if you put a slow, *****bersome man in front of Tyson, Mike is deadly.
“I remember reading an article in the Boxing News, from when Kevin first started appearing in fights in America, a bout or two after he took seven rounds to stop Steve Garber, a man Lennox Lewis knocked out in eighteen seconds. Someone wrote ‘This giant of a man comes with eighteen wins but whoever got him eighteen wins should be canonized as a saint’. That’s exactly what was said in the English trade paper, Boxing News and that person they were talking about was me.”