“This is The Most Feared man in The World”- The Man Who Ended Mike Tyson’s Career Opens Up on Facing Mike Tyson
The boxing world remembers Kevin McBride for beating Mike Tyson and eventually retiring the great heavyweight boxer. However, fans aren’t aware of the Irish pugilist’s journey from a Tyson fan, to Olympic boxer to a professional to the ‘Iron’ conqueror. ‘The Clones Colossus‘ got candid on unarguably the biggest fight of his career thereby giving fans a peek into the buildup to the iconic moment where he beat Mike Tyson.
Kevin McBride opens up on the Mike Tyson match
In a chat with ESPN, McBride revealed that facing ‘Iron’ was a “dream.” He said, “I was the headliner versus Kevin Montiy. I won, then I got the chance to fight Mike Tyson. I got the call to fight him, and I said sure. All they were offering was $150,000. I said, ‘Don’t negotiate anymore, I just want to get in the ring with him.’ It was a dream as a kid growing up to be able to fight him. So things started happening. I got the call to go to Washington, D.C., to sign the contract. I met Mike Tyson, and he’s a legend, I said, ‘I appreciate the fight.’”
McBride hints at being lucky to get the fight as he accepted the deal put on the table. As per him, “everyone else was kind of greedy, looking for more.”
He did play hardball on one occasion though as he revealed that he demanded the fight fee upfront or else he wouldn’t show.
‘The Clones Colossus’ said he wasn’t intimidated ahead of the fight. He revealed that ‘Iron’ promised to gut him like a fish. He replied Tyson would take the whole of Ireland when hit on the chin. Furthermore, the Irish boxer added that he visited a hypnotist. Here the mantra was, “Every time Mike Tyson hits you, you’re going to be smiling.”
His confidence was brimming ahead of the fight. But he faced a strong opponent in the crowd. The Irishman had been given the role of the villain as jeers met him upon entering the arena. He shared his thoughts as he made the walk to the squared circle, “What the hell did I get myself into?”
McBride vs Tyson- a historic clash
He also opened up about his opponent who had a history of delivering first-round KOs. “He puts the fear of God in anybody. But that’s the good thing about me, I have no fear because I love the sport.”
He continued, “Oh, Jesus, he’s the most intimidating fighter, ever. This is the most feared man in the world. But I was just focused on the win and whatever way I could win.”
For ‘The Clones Colossus’ getting past the opening 3 minutes meant that he had fared better than 23 of ‘Iron’s opponents who fell in quicker time. However, he admits that ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ didn’t seem as fast. “He wasn’t as fast. Ten years before that, I might now have lasted that long.”
There was something in ‘The Clones Colossus’ on June 11th, 2005 at the MCI Center, which drove ‘Iron’ to frustration. Did Tyson know that his opponent would not go down? Had he thrown his best shots only to see him standing?
It certainly seems so as ‘Iron’ attempted to break his opponent’s arm and even headbutted him in the 6th and eventually final round. In keeping with his moniker, ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ tried to bite McBride’s nipple. The Irish boxer thanked his stars that ‘Iron’ had his mouthpiece which slipped off in time.
Later in the round, the former 2 time Champion hit the canvas and he looked spent. When remembering the moment nearly 15 years later, McBride says, “it’s like a dream, a fairy tale. You can’t imagine it, I had a big smile on my face. But I was sad in my heart because I know the guy’s a legend, and I know the world loves him.”
When Tyson sat down at his corner following the round, he did not rise to his feet for the 7th 3-minute period. This handed the Irishman 33rd career win. However when reminiscing about the experience he says, “Regardless, win or lose, it was like magic. It’s hard to believe it’s 15 years. Time goes real quick.”
It indeed does with ‘Iron’ in talks for a massive exhibition comeback.
McBride boxed 8 times after his monumental triumph but lost 6 times thereby being unable to carry the momentum from what remains the biggest win of his career.
How well do you remember the night Mike Tyson called it quits?