• April 8, 2024

Kevin McBride reflects on his bout with Mike Tyson: “I faced the man…and emerged victorious.”

Kevin McBride acknowledges that the Mike Tyson he defeated was well past his prime, but he still considers it a significant accomplishment. McBride, an Irish-born resident of Brockton, Massachusetts, stopped Iron Mike in six rounds on June 11, 2005, at MCI Center in Washington, D.C. Tyson, who would turn 39 weeks later, never stepped into the ring again.

“I am elated and grateful, although I am aware that he wasn’t the prime Tyson,” McBride shared with The (U.K.) Mail. “But on that night, I fought the man and emerged victorious. I vividly remember that in the sixth round, he landed a devastating blow that felt like leprechauns playing drums in my head.”

“On instinct, I taunted him, saying, ‘Is that all you’ve got? You’re in trouble now.’ That’s when he attempted various tactics. First, he grabbed my left arm and tried to break it. He even attempted to bite my nipple, thankfully with his mouthguard on. Otherwise, I would have been the Irishman with only one nipple.”

McBride’s name has resurfaced due to Tyson’s recent news about his intentions to return to the ring for exhibition matches. However, apart from the Tyson fight, McBride’s career was relatively uneventful. Following the Tyson bout, McBride (35-10-1, 29 KOs) went on to win only two out of his next six fights and never competed for a major title. His last fight took place in 2011.

Nevertheless, he will always cherish his encounter with Tyson and everything associated with it. One particularly special memory is meeting Muhammad Ali after the fight.

“Next thing I know,” he recounted, “Ali starts pretending to throw punches at me, saying, ‘I’m the greatest, and you’re the latest.’ It was like a dream come true.”

Tyson succumbed to the obvious and thus ended one of the illustrious boxing careers. McBride, who received a mere $150,000 for the fight, signed with Don King but never got his chance at a title. He experienced defeat in six out of his subsequent eight fights and eventually retired in 2011 due to struggles with alcohol and a lack of motivation.

“Recovering my motivation after defeating Tyson was part of the journey,” he admits. Nowadays, it is a joyful chapter of his past, although he doesn’t dwell on it.

“I have a wonderful family, and that’s where my focus lies now,” he says. “The fight, the entire experience, was incredible nonetheless. Even without pursuing a title, it holds significance. It’s amusing—I met Tyson a few years ago at an event. I approached him, greeted him, and asked if he remembered me. He shook my hand and said, ‘Yes, I remember you, Kevin.'”

Thanks to that night 15 years ago, many others also remember McBride’s name.

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