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Mike Tyson quit on stool in last pro fight after trying to break opponent’s arm


Mike Tyson will step back in the ring this summer – 19 years after his last pro fight – to face YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul.

In 2005, ‘Iron Mike’, one of the most feared heavyweights in history, bid a sad farewell to the sport as he quit on his stool against the unheralded Kevin McBride in Washington D.C.


McBride was selected as a straightforward opponent for Tyson to beat, but this didn’t go to planCredit: AFP – Getty

And even as his career was coming to an end, SHOWTIME commentator Steve Albert’s introduction to their pay-per-view offering on June 11, 2005, showed Tyson still had his aura that had seen him storm through the heavyweight division in the 1980s and earn the nickname the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’.

“Despite the prevailing opinion that Mike Tyson is shot, unfocused and undisciplined, this has elements of a short, painful night for Kevin McBride,” said Albert.

He was 38 years old, had been knocked out by Britain’s Danny Williams in his last fight and spent 11 months out of the ring since, but the Tyson phenomenon lived on regardless.

A crowd of 20,000 packed out the MCI Arena to witness the former undisputed heavyweight world champion in action, fully believing their hero would roll back the clock to produce another scintillating KO.

Irish journeyman McBride was the opponent selected for the occasion – his record not telling the full story.

The 32-year-old had accumulated his 32 wins by facing a host of lower-tier fighters and then suffered defeats whenever he stepped up in class.

McBride was even beaten by Michael Murray, a man who ended his career losing 17 of his last 18 fights, with the only bout he won being the one against McBride.

While the Irishman is said to have earned $150,000 for the contest, Tyson was reportedly paid $5million – most of which went to his ex-wife and creditors.

The arena was sold out with 20,000 in attendance


The arena was sold out with 20,000 in attendanceCredit: Getty – Contributor

However, Tyson was not the most iconic sporting figure at the MCI Arena that night.

After arriving at the venue, Tyson received a visit in his dressing room from the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ himself, Muhammad Ali.

Fans think Jake Paul will cancel upcoming fight with Mike Tyson as boxing legend posts new training footage

Ali by this point was suffering noticeably from Parkinson’s disease and looked frail, but still lit up the night whenever picked out by TV cameras.

His daughter Laila Ali fought on the undercard, hence his attendance, though he took the time to go and see his friend Tyson before the ring walks.

Ali sat ringside for the event


Ali sat ringside for the eventCredit: AFP – Getty

When both fighters did emerge for battle, Tyson came out to no music as he’d famously done before his peak performance against Michael Spinks in 1988.

By 2005, the intimidating effect of his entrance had lessened significantly.

McBride included a hypnotist in his pre-fight preparations and was unfazed.

While waiting in the ring, he grabbed the giant Irish flag used to represent him and waved it to the hostile crowd who’d hounded him as he made his own walk.

Tyson was terrifying in his youth, but not the same at 38


Tyson was terrifying in his youth, but not the same at 38Credit: Getty

When the contest began, McBride fought like he had a point to prove, whereas Tyson did no such thing.

The underdog hurled winging, clubbing shots in the direction of the big favourite, some of which landed with impact.

Tyson had some success with body shots early on, but struggled to combat McBride’s ‘big guy’ tactics.

Earlier in his career, ‘Iron Mike’ neutralised his opponents’ size and weight advantages with speed, power and raw ferocity.

Against McBride this was non-existent.

The Irishman smothered Tyson, leaned on him, held him, roughed him up and used every trick in the book to gain an advantage.

This frustrated the American who came out firing at the start of round four.

But when his offensive had little impact, he began to bring out the dirty tactics seen previously in fights not going his way.

Many would have expected Tyson to make quick work of McBride in his prime


Many would have expected Tyson to make quick work of McBride in his primeCredit: Getty

Tyson was warned for using his head in the clinches and landed multiple low blows.

He then took a pummelling towards the end of the fifth as he continued to be worn down by his gutsy foe.

Round six would be the final round of Mike Tyson’s career.

Both men came out swinging and again ended up in a clinch. A furious, frustrated ‘Iron Mike’ grabbed McBride’s arm and twisted it, seemingly attempting to break it.

The underdog screamed in pain and Tyson was warned, but somehow went unpunished for the same crime he’d previously committed against Francois Botha.

Moments later he cut McBride with a headbutt and referee Joe Cortez deemed it intentional, deducting him two points as a result.

This decision boosted McBride, who sensed victory and began to land uppercut after uppercut on a spent Tyson.

Commentator Albert, whose pre-fight quote now looked rather silly, declared: “Kevin McBride, a journeyman, is making Mike Tyson look like a third-tier heavyweight.”

Tyson lost two points for a headbutt


Tyson lost two points for a headbuttCredit: AFP – Getty

With the round coming to a close, McBride leaned on Tyson yet again, this time smothering him to the ground.

No knockdown was given, but Tyson was finished.

He stayed sat by the ropes for 15 seconds, then struggled to his feet and made it back to his corner.

After consulting with trainer Jeff Fenech, Tyson called it quits on the fight and so too on his boxing career.

McBride jumped for joy, celebrating rapturously with his corner on one side of the ring.

Meanwhile on the other, Tyson sat slumped on his stool. He was nodding, accepting his fate. A beaten man in every sense of the word.

“I realised, I don’t think I have it any more,” he explained in a remarkably honest post-fight interview.

“I’ve got the ability to stay in shape but I don’t got the fighting guts anymore. I’m just fighting to take care of my bills basically.

Tyson's career ended at the end of round six


Tyson’s career ended at the end of round sixCredit: Getty – Contributor
McBride celebrated an astonishing victory


McBride celebrated an astonishing victoryCredit: Getty – Contributor

“I don’t have the stomach for this no more. I’m more conscious of my children. I don’t have that ferocity, I’m not that animal anymore.

“Most likely I’m not gonna fight again. I’m not gonna disrespect the sport by losing to these calibre of fighters.”

He rounded off his interview by stating: “I’m sure I’ll find something to do, boxing doesn’t define me.”

And for the last 19 years, Tyson has proved just that.

In life after sport his personality has mellowed significantly.

Despite the tragic loss of his four-year-old daughter, Tyson stabilised and remarried – this time to long-time girlfriend Lakiha ‘Kiki’ Spicer.

He has dabbled in various different careers from endorsement deals to film/TV acting cameos, even launching his own hugely profitable cannabis business.

In 2020, at the age of 54, he stepped back into a boxing ring for an eight-round exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr.

Tyson will now fight again


Tyson will now fight againCredit: Joe Scarnici/Triller

And now, on July 20, he is set to face Paul, whom he seemed to have an amicable relationship previously. Tyson had even complimented him on stopping boxing from losing its allure as the UFC grew to become the most glamorous of combat sports.

“Boxing owes these guys, they owe these YouTube boxers some kind of respect. They should give them some belts because these guys make boxing alive,” he said in 2020 after battling to a draw with Jones Jr.

“Boxing was pretty much a dying sport. UFC was kicking our butts, and now we got these YouTube boxers boxing with 25 million views. Boxing’s going back. Thanks to the YouTube boxers.”

As training footage shows, Tyson still has that vicious power that has stopped many in another life and it’s something Paul is aware of, though is not too worried.

Watching him in action, Paul’s girlfriend, Jutta Leerdam, asked about the consequences of a knockout to which he replied: “I’m too sharp and fast. I think just being active and being the man in the arena is great now, the nerves aren’t even there now.

“This is not even going to feel as crazy.”

It has not yet been confirmed whether or not the fight will be a professional contest or an exhibition, though it’s reported that organisers are trying to get it officially sanctioned by the commission in Texas.

Many will be hoping those involved look to history to see that Tyson’s days competing in professional boxing matches rightly ended a long time ago.

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