Mike Tyson had already suffered five defeats by the time his arranged comeback fight with McBride had been scheduled in 2005
And it proved to be his last after a special night for the Irish underdog.
The last man to face off with Mike Tyson in a professional boxing ring has detailed how he beat the fearsome former world heavyweight champion.
Kevin McBride met Tyson at the MCI Center in Washington in 2005 at the back end of his opponent’s distinguished career.
Tyson – who is planning another ring return. He was already past his best having just been defeated by Brit Danny Williams the year prior. McBride had been chosen as an easy comeback fight.
But it proved to be ‘Iron Mike’s’ last appearance, as he failed to get off his stool for the seventh round.
“I’m dancing and delighted and at the same time I know that wasn’t the Tyson of his prime,” McBride recalled to The Mail. “But I fought the man on the night and won.”
McBride told of how he had a mocked up picture of him knocking down Tyson next to his bed every night in the build-up to the bout.
Tyson was the overwhelming favourite, but his Irish opponent pulled out all the stops to get one over on the heavyweight legend.
One tactic included smiling each time Tyson landed a punch, to convince the fighter he was not hurting McBride.
After five rounds though, Tyson was winning on the scorecards, but he soon lost his cool after McBride pushed him to the canvas.
“I remember to this day he hit me so hard in the sixth it was like leprechauns playing drums in my head,” McBride said.
“On instinct I said, ‘Is that all you got? You’re in trouble’. That is when he tried things. First he got my left arm in a hold and tried to break it.”He tried to bite my nipple. Thank God he had his mouthpiece in — otherwise I’d be the Irishman with one nipple.”
Mind games were a big part of McBride’s camp in preparation, as there were question marks over Tyson’s motives for the bout.
Then 39, Tyson had already had his well-documented battles with his demons.
McBride had had his own problems with alcohol, and trainer Packie Collins made sure they shared a room together for the whole 10-week camp to keep his fighter in check.
They trained at the same field as the legendary unbeaten fighter Rocky Marciano, and took regular trips to the cinema to watch boxing film Cinderella Man
On the night of the bout, Collins then used one final piece of wisdom.
After going to watch Tyson have his hands wrapped before the bout, Collins returned to McBride and told him his opponent’s hands were shaking with fear.
The real reason Collins was gone so long, was because Tyson had received a visit from the great Muhammad Ali.
But just a short while later, it was McBride who would be coming into contact with Ali, after emerging as victor over Tyson.
“Next thing I know, I have Ali throwing pretend punches at me, saying ‘I’m the greatest, you’re the latest’. A dream.”