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Kevin McBride hungry for Evander Holyfield KO, Mike Tyson rematch

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Things just got real.

Apparently, what was initially an exhibition between fight legend Evander Holyfield, 58, and Kevin McBride, 47, is now a legitimate eight round prizefight with two-minute stanzas.

It’s a move that’ll likely give the card, headlined by Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr., added buzz in the mainstream.

“Yes, he’s coming in there to take me out and I’m coming in to do the same thing to him. This is a real fight,” McBride told Boxing News.

McBride, of course, was the last professional opponent of fight legend and Holyfield nemesis Mike Tyson. And on June 11, 2005, Kevin scored the most important victory of his professional career when he defeated the shopworn great via a 6th round TKO. However, McBride wasn’t able to parlay the momentum he generated off that win into true success.

Following the Tyson upset, McBride’s stock wasn’t high for long. After a subsequent knockout win, Kevin would lose 4 of his next 5 fights and transition from semi-superstar to journeyman.

Now, he seeks redemption.


FightSaga tidbit:
 Both guys last fought in 2011; Holyfield scored a 10th Round TKO over Brian Nielsen on May 7 of that year. McBride was KO'd in 4 by Mariusz Wach a few months later on July 29
"This fight [with Holyfield] I will prove to everyone, all the doubters, that I’m still a legitimate fighter. Yes, I’ve been knocked out a couple of times and I’ve lost fights. But it’s hard to get up for a fight after you’ve just beaten Mike Tyson," Kevin told Boxing News.

Did Kevin let the win go to his head? He defeated a near 40-year-old, over-the-hill, disinterested version of Mike. Nevertheless, he believes his upcoming bout with Holyfield will offer him the opportunity for a second chance at redemption.

“I was close to getting a world title shot after that [win over Tyson], but it never came. Now, this fight with Evander, a dream come true. Don’t let anyone tell you this is not a real fight."

"He’s still a very dangerous man, even at age 58. He’s in great shape. I’ve been working for a guy, cutting down trees every single day. Let me tell you, that keeps you in shape… I will be in great shape for this fight."

"I’m very excited and I’m taking it very seriously. I love the sport too much for me not to take it seriously.”

FightSaga tidbit: Evander, at 58 1/2, might be the oldest former heavyweight champion to participate in a prizefight  Former champ and fight great Jack Johnson fought exhibitions in his 60s but is believed to have stopped fighting for real and as a pro in his early 50s.

…”This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. Actually, it’s the second opportunity of a lifetime for me.... After I see off Holyfield, me and Tyson can have our unfinished business,” McBride told Boxing News.

Those are not the words of boxer who is fighting in an exhibition. McBride sounds hungry. And it seems like he means business.

Last week, when the fight was announced as an exhibition, we published the story Holyfield vs McBride prediction: Why it’ll flop at the box office thinking such an event wouldn't generate much interest. But, if Holyfield vs McBride will be a real prizefight with the possibility of the winner facing Tyson, it could sizzle after all.

How much does Evander have left? Keep in mind, he was virtually unbeaten in his last 4 fights (the decision loss to Nikolai Valuev in 2008 is considered one of the biggest robberies in heavyweight history). Holyfield was enjoying a resurgence of sorts when he left the game at 48. However, come fight time he'll be about 1 1/2 years shy of 60.

Would a McBride victory set-up Tyson vs McBride 2?

And should Holyfield be concerned that a big, strong Irishman who is 11 years his junior believes defeating him will serve as a massive step towards personal (and perhaps financial) rebirth?

Things just got real.


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