Fans who thought they were getting an Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson trilogy bout this year have scoffed after 47-year-old journeyman Kevin McBride, who beat a washed-up Tyson in 2006, was announced to fight the ‘The Real Deal’.
A third meeting between Tyson and Holyfield, which many fans had clamored for after their legendary title showdowns in 1996 and 1997, is thought to have fallen through after ‘Iron Mike’ turned down a $25 million purse to face the man who beat him twice.
In his final official professional fight, Tyson lost to McBride after the referee stopped the fight before the seventh round of their meeting in 2006 – but that was the most famous moment of his unspectacular career for the 6ft 6in Irishman, who has not fought since 2011 and lost six of his last seven bouts.
“We went through all the heavyweights but ultimately decided, ‘who better than the guy who knocked Mike Tyson into retirement?'” said Ryan Kavanaugh, the owner of broadcasting platform Triller, to Boxing Scene.
Sources: Evander Holyfield returns June 5 in an exhibition bout as chief support to the Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos undisputed lightweight title bout on Triller Fight Club. Holyfield’s opponent is Kevin McBride, who stopped Mike Tyson in his final fight. @SIChrisMannix first
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) April 11, 2021
The exhibition bout will go ahead on the same card as unified lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez’s first title defense against Aussie contender George Kambosos.
Tyson has since returned to the squared circle in a late 2020 exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr, who, alongside Shannon Briggs, was considered as a dance partner for Holyfield, Kavanaugh confirmed.
With Lopez reportedly being paid a career best sum of $3.9 million for the headline act, it seems doubtful Holyfield and McBride are making anywhere near that amount, and punters took to Twitter to voice their dismay with the eight-round display.
kevin mcbride……our irish kevin mcbride ffs……my grandmother would whip him for the love n honour of jaysus
— Dono Johnnie (@DonoJohnnie68) April 12, 2021
— Terry Silver 🥊🥊 (@TerrySilver1989) April 11, 2021
“My grandmother would whip him for the love and honor of Jaysus,” scoffed one of McBride’s compatriots.
“Please make this stop,” demanded another, with Triller’s show derided as “becoming more circus-like” each passing week.
Others expressed their weariness with veteran fights, calling “old men boxing” the “worst trend of all time” and mocking 58-year-old Holyfield’s training footage as “slow motion.”
Yet Holyfield has also been complimented for getting himself into “incredible” shape, and there is hope that the McBride meeting is just a warm-up for a third showdown with Tyson.
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