My Daddy Kicked Mike Tyson’s Ass

By Robert Ecksel on April 4, 2017
My Daddy Kicked Mike Tyson’s Ass
McBride remembers when Tyson "tried to bite my nipple off." (Ed Mulholland Photography)

“When my kids grow up they can say their daddy kicked Mike Tyson’s ass. That’s something to be proud of I suppose…”

On June 11, 2005, at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, ham-and-egger Kevin McBride (32-4-1 at the time) fought the fight of his life against legendary Mike Tyson (50-5). Tyson was no longer the formidable Iron Man of old. He had lost two of his last three fights, knockouts to Lennox Lewis and Danny Williams in 2002 and 2004, respectively, and the end was in sight.

Approaching the 12th anniversary of that life-defining bout, McBride, from Brockton, Massachusetts, by way of Clones, Ireland, remembers what that victory meant then and what it means today.

Courtesy of The Irish News, McBride opened up about that night with little prompting.

“When my kids grow up,” he said with pride, “they can say my daddy kicked Mike Tyson’s ass.”

Mike Tyson was a shadow of his former self when he fought McBride. No one articulated The Fall with the righteous indignation of Joyce Carol Oates: “Who is to blame for this most recent of sports disgraces in America? The culture that flings young athletes like Tyson out of obscurity, makes millionaires of them and watches them self-destruct?”

Tyson’s decline was precipitous. His skills had eroded. His enthusiasm had waned. But he still had the aura which clings to world champions forever. A man of extremes, in and out of the ring (“I’m just a normal person—extremely to the extreme”), when he was riding high he could touch the sky, but when he was down it was to the ground. Having disgraced himself in the rematch with Holyfield in 1997, the so-called “Bite of the Century,” it appears he walked away from the experience empty-handed.

“Tyson said he didn’t know why he bit Holyfield’s ear,” Oates wrote in Fury and Fine Lines (1997), “he just ‘snapped’. We can take him at his word. If there’s an explanation, he doesn’t know it.”

Lennox Lewis had a biting experience with Mike Tyson, as did Kevin McBride, who remembers when Tyson “tried to bite my nipple off. I was like ‘what’s this bollox doing?!’ Thank God he had the mouthpiece in because otherwise he wouldn’t have slipped off and my nipple would’ve been in his mouth.

“If that had happened, nobody would know me as the guy who beat Mike Tyson—I’d just be the guy who was left standing there in the ring with one nipple. That’s how I’d be remembered.”

Tyson was fighting to maintain legitimacy. “I was just fighting to pay off the bills,” he said. “I’m not an animal anymore.”

Animal or not, Tyson could still build a gate. He said, “I’m not going to disrespect the sport any more by losing to this caliber of fighter.”

McBride had a respectable record, especially before beating Tyson, but went on to lose six of his last seven fights, to men like Mariusz Wach, Tomasz Adamek, Axel Schulz, and Andrew Golota.

“I don’t care what people say,” bristled McBride. “When you jump in the ring with anybody, let alone Mike Tyson, it’s no joke. I don’t pass no remarks. It’s something special to know in my own heart that I beat a man of that stature.

“They can call me a journeyman or call me whatever they want, I did enough to get to where I got to.

“I beat Mike Tyson. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, they can’t take that away from me.”

McBride made history that night. He retired Mike Tyson.

“In 20 years from now, people will still look back and say that man Kevin McBride from Clones, county Monaghan knocked out Mike Tyson.

“And when my kids grow up they can say their daddy kicked Mike Tyson’s ass. That’s something to be proud of I suppose.”

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  1. Mike Ferrara 03:37pm, 04/10/2017

    The quote in the article from Joyce Carol Oates is awful. She thinks Tyson is not to blame for his fall? Oates is a classic liberal fool who can’t come to the realization that some professional athletes squander their fortunes because they aren’t good people. How does she explain the equal amount of pro’s that had the same or worse upbringing than Tyson, made the megabucks and didn’t squander their fortune? Tyson had D’Amato as his guardian who taught him right from wrong and when he died Rooney took over. Neither one were wolves and in fact were great role models. Tyson just chose to ignore them. I looked up Oates, she has many writing credits and awards teaching at Princeton. She’s 78 and still hasn’t learned what “personal responsibility” means.

  2. Bob 05:24pm, 04/09/2017

    McBride has much to be proud of. He represented his country in the Olympics and beat the erstwhile baddest man on the planet. Regardless of when it happened in Tyson’s career, McBride, as well as his children, should wear that victory as a badge of family honor.

  3. nonprophet 10:24am, 04/07/2017

    Great timing on Kevin’s part.  In Iron Mike’s heyday, McBride was just another Peter McNeeley, who Mike dropped like a sack of Irish potatoes. 

    GGG has a McBride in his future…name’s Canelo….especially if Alvarez’s timing on taking the bout with GGG is as good as McBride’s was against Tyson.

    Time will tell….

  4. nonprophet 10:18am, 04/07/2017

    Maybe Krusher could take a cue from Buster, eh, Irish Frankie?  Ya boy couldn’t get it done last time the way Douglas did with Iron Mike.

  5. Barry L 07:01am, 04/05/2017

    How do you think Tyson would have done against Anthony Joshua?

  6. Captain MAGA 04:04pm, 04/04/2017

    McBride actually fought a very smart fight that night. He constantly draped that massive body over Tyson. Tyson’s neck, back, shoulders and legs were finally broken down trying to hold up the massive Irishman. Tyson just quit on his arse after collapsing more from exhaustion than a push. Still McBride got some good shots in, while absorbing headbutts, elbows, arm-bars, from Tyson. It was a very competitive fight and McBride showed lots of heart. It might not have been a prime version of Iron Mike, but even at that stage of his career, Mike was still a formidable opponent. McBride has every right to feel proud of this victory.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:10pm, 04/04/2017

    The night Buster Douglas literally pounded Tyson into the canvas he was the P4P best fighter in the world. Who gives two shits if Tyson wasn’t mentally or physically ready….that finishing combo was probably the most emphatic ever executed in Heavyweight Championship history.

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