Kevin McBride, 47, insists he will knock out 58-year-old Evander Holyfield to set up rematch with 54-year-old Mike Tyson

Kevin McBride says exhibition planned with Evander Holyfield will be a ‘real fight’

Irish heavyweight Kevin McBride, best known for retiring from Mike Tyson in 2005, will mentor Evander Holyfield on June 5 in the final exhibition match the sport really doesn’t need. But the plan, according to McBride, 47, is to defeat Holyfield, 58, and then get rematch with Tyson, 54.

“Yeah, he’s coming over there to get me out and I’m coming to do the same to him.” It’s a real fight, ”said McBride Boxing News about the proposed event, which will be broadcast on Triller – the new platform that encourages retired fighters to return to “show” fights.

“It’s eight rounds, and only two minutes, but it’s not an exhibition. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. In fact, this is the second opportunity of my life. I knocked out a legend in Mike Tyson and now, after seeing Holyfield, me and Tyson can have our business unfinished.

“He [Tyson] must think about this fight with me all the time. Without a doubt. He has to think about how he stopped on his stool against an Irishman. This fight [with Holyfield] I will prove to everyone, to all skeptics, that I am still a legitimate fighter. Yes, I have been knocked out several times and lost fights. But it’s hard to fight after beating Mike Tyson.

“I was about to get a chance for the world title after that [win over Tyson], but he never came. Now this fight with Evander is a dream come true. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a real fight. He is still a very dangerous man, even at 58 years old. He is in top form. I work for a guy, I cut trees every day. Let me tell you, it keeps you in shape, cutting trees down and getting them around you. I will be in great shape for this fight. I am very excited and I take it very seriously. I love sport too much not to take it seriously. “

Kevin McBride has fought eight times after beating Tyson, losing five times. The two fighters last fought in 2011 with McBride losing to Mariusz Wach in four rounds and Holyfield stopping Brian Neilson in 10. It was unusually clear 10 years ago that McBride and Holyfield were far from their best.

As hardcore boxing collectively moans at the sheer number of returning boxers, McBride insists it’s a positive trend.

“I love boxing, it’s in my blood, and I want it to be a big event, a real and exciting event,” he explained. “And that’s what it will be. I’ll see it there. I’m sure Holyfield feels exactly the same. People today, with the pandemic and everything going on, they want excitement, they want big fights with big names. I think the reason all the legends keep coming back – Tyson, Roy Jones, Holyfield, De La Hoya – is because, the fans today, they know these guys can show them how it’s done. One punch can change the direction of anyone’s life and these fights reflect that. My life changed overnight with Tyson’s fight, and people love to see stuff like that. All of Ireland will be behind me for this fight with Holyfield.

“Listen, I know how to knock a man out. I have 29 KOs in my name! Of course he comes up with the same attitude, but I’m going to be explosive against Holyfield. He’s a great guy, I’ve met him several times. We never had a fight but I know a lot about the guy. This fight, I had so many calls! Everyone wants to see it. Call me again after the fight, it will be even bigger.

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