New Boxing Hero? Maybe it's Michael 'The Problem' McKinson
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New Boxing Hero? Maybe it's Michael 'The Problem' McKinson
By Seconds Out (July 22, 2015)

Michael 'The Problem' McKinson
Michael 'The Problem' McKinson
Ever since Tony Oakey hung up his gloves, Portsmouth fight fans have been looking for a new hero.

Maybe it's Michael 'The Problem' McKinson . . .

McKinson grew up in a boxing-crazy family and Oakey and Craig Watson are among the ex-fighters who've followed his progress since he first went to the gym aged "seven or eight."

Now 21, he's a 6-0 welterweight with a future.

Earlier this month, McKinson accepted an ambitious-looking match with Jerome Samuels in Bournemouth.

Samuels has won and lost Welsh honours at 11 stones and at 6ft 2ins, he towered over McKinson.

But after three rounds, Samuels couldn't take any more and McKinson had the best win of his six-fight professional career.

"I felt really strong and broke his heart," said McKinson. "He said he hurt his arm and that's why he pulled out, but I think he didn't want to know after I hurt him with body shots.

"People will see the best of me now I'm not just boxing durable journeyman. There are 142 welterweights in Britain and if I'm going to get noticed, I've got to be winning 50-50 fights. I've had my first test, come through it and now I'm looking to step up again."

McKinson splits his training between Belfast - where he works with manager Alan Wilton - and a gym in Portsmouth.

He turned pro last year after a 42-bout amateur career that includes razor-thin losses to Jordan Gill, currently unbeaten in 13 fights, and Jordan Reynolds, the Elvis-obsessed, Luton stylist voted boxer of the tournament at last month's Haringey Box Cup.

"I was a nearly man in the amateurs," says 'The Problem.'

"I always seemed to lose a very close decision to the favourite in the semi final or final."

McKinson says boxing "has been my life."

He explained: "I got carded on my 11th birthday and boxed a week later. I've been training with the pros since I was 15, sparring people like Floyd Moore, Matty Tew and Jon Fernandez."

As a consequence, McKinson says he feels "very comfortable" in the boxing ring. "It's like my second home," he said.

Describing his style, he said: "I'm a good defensive boxer and cause people problems. That's why I call myself 'The Problem.' I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I don't get hit and in the last few months I've learned how to fight."


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