Kevin McBride: “Mike Tyson will be a good stepping stone for me, I’m going to be the guy who retires him!”
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (May 18, 2005)  
Photo © Tom Casino/ SHOWTIME
June 11th on Showtime Kevin ‘The Clones Colossus’ McBride, 32-4-1 (27), will clash with ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, 50-5 (44), in a scheduled ten round showdown. After two failed attempts to do so it has finally arrived, and the fighting Irishman will get his shot at the living legend and will savor this moment forever. Will the thirty-two year old pull another Danny Williams and defeat the former champion to go on to greener pastures or will he fall from Tyson’s devastating power as so many have before?

He doesn’t believe so!

Hailing from Ireland, a nine-year-old Kevin took up the ‘sweet science’ to ward off neighborhood bullies and from there the dream began. Competing as an amateur, Kevin captured three All-Ireland titles, earned the Senior Super Heavyweight Crown that qualified him for the 1992 Olympic Trials in Denmark where he earned a spot on the Irish Olympic boxing team. At eighteen Kevin was the youngest super heavyweight to compete in the Olympics but came up short of a medal. After his amateur stint the youngster hit the pro ranks later that year. In December of 1992 Kevin made it official, fighting to a draw before going on a nineteen fight win streak, stopping sixteen by knockout, six of those in the opening round. His first loss came at the hands of Louis Monaco in February ’97. Four months after his first loss Kevin won the All-Ireland heavyweight title in his home country but two months later fell to defeat once more, this time against Axel Schulz in Germany.

Kevin went on to battle it out against the usual suspects and tasted his last defeat in 2002 against DaVarryl Williamson. Since his last loss McBride has gone on to defeat all seven by knock out and has won the IBC Americas heavyweight title in the process. Last March McBride defeated Kevin Montiy in five rounds. Although his power ruled the night, he appeared plodding. McBride told the Doghouse that was in his fight plan, he knew Tyson’s people were watching him and he wasn’t going to show them anything spectacular that might ruin his venture against Tyson. The thirty-two year old fighter looks to capitalize on Tyson’s lack of youth and hopes to use his power to send the former champ into retirement. Kevin believes this is his time to shine and come June 11th will do so for all to see. The fighting Irishman stopped by the Doghouse to give his thoughts on his math-up against the ‘Iron’ one and what the future holds for him, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: First thing Kevin I just want to say thanks for taking out the time of your training to give your thoughts to the readers at Doghouse, it is greatly appreciated. How has your training been for this bout?

Kevin McBride:
I’ve been training better than ever and all I can say up to date it has been tremendous. I train with Goody Petronelli and it has been going great, they are keeping my in shape. I’m really looking forward to this Mike Tyson fight because it is my time to shine.

BH: This is your third chance at getting a shot at Mike, how does it feel to finally get a shot at the man, and how disheartening was it to set there and watch Danny Williams knock out Tyson when you knew that should have or could have been you in the ring with Mike getting that chance?

There’s a lot of upsets in boxing, you take one day at a time. You are never sure a fight is on till the bell rings and I’ve had a lot of upsets in my boxing career so you take the downs as well as the ups. I dreamed of fighting Tyson since I was a young kid just turning pro, if you believe in yourself enough and train hard enough it could happen. My father has been dead now he passed away six years ago and he always dreamed that I would win the heavyweight world title so Mike Tyson will be a good stepping stone for me so I can move on to better things. I just turned thirty-two so I am in the prime of my life, I still got four years of good boxing so I have a lot to offer to the heavyweight division. People say that I’m a journeyman but I am going to shock the world with this fight. This is Tyson’s last hurrah and he’s going to be in the best shape of his life but I am going to be the guy who reties Mike Tyson and there is no better place then at Washington DC. I know I can beat Mike Tyson, I am training to beat Mike Tyson, I’m going to shock the world and shock the Irish people in Ireland.

BH: Looking at this fight some critics, boxing fans, etc. think that you are being brought into this fight to do what Danny Williams didn’t do, lay down, give your thoughts on this Tyson fight, you seem to be coming in to do more than collect a real good pay check and honestly feel your chances at being the victor are good.

I believe Mike Tyson is not the same man he was twelve years ago, Mike Tyson hit Danny Williams with every thing he had and Williams was like you ain’t knocking me out in two rounds and it was his time to step up and he ended knocking Tyson out. I don’t fear anybody in boxing, on June 11th I’m knocking Mike Tyson out or I’m going to give him a bad beating. I’m the younger fighter, I’m hungrier and boxing needs a new champion especially an Irish one and I’m going to be the guy to win it. Mike Tyson is in my way, he is a stepping-stone, this is a great stepping-stone, and it is in the public eye. As far as the critics saying that I haven’t fought anybody and so on, I have been fighting legitimate heavyweight fighters and some fighters are more dangerous than others so I going to get in there and prove to the world that I’m a legitimate contender not a pretender.

BH: How hard has it been managing and promoting yourself in the past?

I was getting these smaller fights and then got to fight on Fox TV, just a lot of fights were torn down like the bigger fights, it is just hard because I know that I am legitimate. I have knocked out twenty-seven opponents and you don’t knock that many out unless you have power and I have won my last seven by knock out. I hit very hard and once I hit Mike Tyson he’s going to go “Damn this ain’t no Peter McNeeley this is a real Irishman”. No disrespect to Peter McNeeley, I am going to beat Mike Tyson no matter what the critics say, I’m going to expose Mike Tyson for what he is. I am going to live the dream of being the world heavyweight champion and Mike Tyson is in the way, I’m not afraid of Klitschko or any other contender out there, I’m not afraid of any top guy. I got to touch him with both hands and once I catch him with the right upper cut he is going to sleep.

BH: In your honest opinion what would a win against Tyson do for your career and on the other side of the coin where would a loss put you?

A win would put me into contention it will show that I am not a pretender but a contender. Let’s say if Tyson caught me with one of his haymakers it might set me back but I have been up and down that ladder before and I have come back and won fights. I am not thinking of losing I’m thinking of winning. I want to be the world heavyweight champion and Tyson is in the way. I want to fight the best to be the best, I just want to box.

BH: Here are some questions the Doghouse readers sent in for me and I will ask you a few at this time.

ShadowBoxer asks: Have you found more of a weakness in Tyson over the last few fights and do you feel you can capitalize on that?

KM: Definitely. You know, Mike Tyson is Mike Tyson and he’s going to fight the way he fights regardless of all the trainers in the world who train him and try to teach him different things. Tyson ain’t getting any younger, I am younger and I am feeling stronger than I ever have before and I hit hard, I’m going in there and I’m going to take the fight to Mike Tyson, I’m not afraid of Mike Tyson. I’m going to go in there and beat Mike Tyson and there are not going to be any excuses because when I am in the ring with Tyson and the referee asks if there are any questions I’m going to say to Mike “ Mike no excuses tonight.”

Rich asks: Is it your plan to survive the early onslaught of Mike Tyson and catch him as he fades down the stretch, or do you plan on going toe to toe with Tyson?

KM: I am going toe to toe with Tyson but I’m going to keep my reach, I am not going in there to survive I’m going in there to do my thing. I have to hit him on the chin at all costs and I will box him. I have a secret weapon up my sleeve, talk to me the night before and I will tell you hat it is. I know you have to survive the weather to create a storm but I can create a storm in the first round. Once I get that jab in his face I’m going to knock on the door with my right hand.

OnePunch asks: How late in the fight do you feel you have the best shot at putting Tyson away, is there a target round in your strategy?

To be honest with you it could be the first round. But as the rounds do go on Tyson is going to get slower so that’s in my favor. Once I catch him with my power shots he’s going to be looking for the canvas.

TheJackal35 asks: If you get passed Tyson what is next for you, title shot maybe?

I would like to fight John Ruiz, since I’m training out of Boston and living in Boston I would like to fight John Ruiz for the world title that he got back from James Toney because of James Toney’s drug allegations or whatever. That would be a great fight for Boston.

Benny Henderson Jr.: If you could say anything to Tyson and be quoted on it, what would it be?

Good luck. (Laughs)

BH: Is there anything you would like to add to this interview or say in closing, you have open forum to speak out.

I appreciate everybody’s support and to all the boxing fans in the world, I’m going to put up a fight and I hope you all enjoy it. Understand that I’m going to be champion of the world.

I want to thank for his help once again on another interview, it is greatly appreciated. A big shout out goes to Kevin McBride for taking the time out of his training to speak to the Doghouse.
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