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KEVIN McBRIDE: ‘I’VE BEEN THERE’

Thomas Hauser catches up with a man who knows how Andy Ruiz Jnr is feeling ON June 1, 2019 – the night that Andy Ruiz Jnr shocked the world by beating Anthony Joshua – a large, hulking man, casually dressed with a pleasant demeanour, made his way through the crowd at Madison Square Garden. He didn’t exactly blend in. At 6ft 6ins tall and weighing more than 300lbs, it’s hard to blend. Those who saw him could have been forgiven for thinking that he was a retired NFL lineman.

KEVIN +McBRIDE+ TALKS TO HAUSER BOXING

He’s a nice man, amiable and easy-going, a bit reticent when meeting strangers. But the words flow when he feels comfortable. His name is Kevin McBride. And on the night of June 11, 2005, he secured a place in boxing history. On that night at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, he became ‘The Conqueror of Mike Tyson’. “How long has it been?” McBride is asked. “In 10 days, it will be 14 years to the day,” he answers. “But who’s counting.”

McBride was born on May 10, 1973, in Clones, a small town just south of the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. He was 11 or 12 years old – he’s not sure which – when he had his first fight. His opponent was also from Clones and stopped Kevin in 30 seconds. “But I won my next fight,” McBride says. “And I fell in love with boxing.”

At age 19, McBride represented Ireland in the super-heavyweight division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and lost in the second round after a first-round bye. He turned pro later that year and came to the United States in 1999 to pursue his ring career. By June 2005, his record stood at 32 wins, four losses, and one draw, wit 28 knockouts. He was a club fighter with four KO defeats on his résumé. One of those came against Michael Murray, who lost 17 of his final 18 fights. Murray’s sole win during that stretch was his knockout of McBride.

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THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – Fury lights up Las Vegas both inside and outside the ring WARRINGTON BY A WHISKER – Hometown favourite pips Galahad to a split decision BREAKING THE RULES – Briedis books his place in the WBSS final in controversial style MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including an exclusive interview with a former Tyson conqueror