Tyson vs Jones Jr: Kevin McBride on forcing Mike Tyson's retirement in 2005

"I'd like an opportunity to finish the job," says the man who retired Mike Tyson, Kevin McBride, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports; Anthony Joshua defends his world heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Mike Tyson
Image: The man who retired Mike Tyson wants to fight again

Mike Tyson sat slumped, the desire and resistance finally gone. At long, long last it was finally over.

Tyson's final fight is one of boxing's most excruciating moments - for so many years the once-great heavyweight walked the tightrope of disaster and decadence until his 58th time in the ring ended in a shocking admission that he was no longer the 'Iron Mike' of old.

"It was sad," sighs the man who retired Tyson in 2005 by inflicting his sixth defeat, Kevin McBride.

Mike Tyson
Image: A slumped Tyson's career was about to end
Tyson vs McBride
Image: McBride admits Tyson still retained his power

But 15 years later Tyson is back. Well, sort of. Aged 54, he will face fellow legend Roy Jones Jr, 51, on Saturday night in an exhibition bout where knockouts are not permitted and no winner will be announced.

"Imagine that?"

McBride, now 47, told Sky Sports: "I'd like to see him knock Jones out then say: 'I want to fight the last man to beat me!'

"Of course I would love to mix it up with Tyson again.

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"I would definitely give him a rematch and fight him again.

"I'd like an opportunity to finish the job."

McBride thought he had ended Tyson-mania once and for all in 2005. Both men have battled their separate demons since and, perhaps as kindred spirits, McBride feels a part of Tyson's story.

"It's very strange but Tyson is a mega-star, everybody is interested," McBride told Sky Sports. "He's still dangerous.

"Everyone wants to know what type of fighter he will be.

"He tried to bite my nipple off so maybe he will try to bite Jones Jr's nose off!

"I don't think it's a good idea, no. But the thing about us fighters? We want to fight."

Tyson vs McBride
Image: Tyson had lost his intimidation factor, McBride says
Tyson vs McBride
Image: McBride was hypnotised before fighting Tyson

The Tyson that lost his final fight so grimly was a shell of 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' as he had once been known.

"Let's be honest - Tyson wasn't the same as he was 15 or 20 years earlier," McBride admits.

The youngest-ever world heavyweight champion had been in and out of prison, declared bankrupt, had caused havoc before fights in Glasgow and Manchester and had lost five times - he bit Evander Holyfield's ear, he was dismantled by Lennox Lewis, and he seemed on an irreparable downwards curve against Danny Williams.

Now 38 having lost two of his last three, Tyson was paired against McBride, an Irishman with a humble record and no experience of the elite level.

"It was a dream for me to fight Tyson," McBride said. "But to beat him?

"He had power and he was durable. George Foreman knocked out Michael Moore aged 44 - the last thing to leave you is power.

"Tyson is always dangerous, no matter his age. He will always be able to knock you out.

"He hit so hard that I can still feel the punch today!

"He hit me to the body and I felt something move on the other side.

"Then he hit me with a good right hand to the top of my head and I was seeing leprechauns for a while!

"He tried to break my arm. He tried to bite me.

"But I leaned on him, pushed him around, used my weight. I always think a big strong man will beat a small strong man.

"He hit me with some good uppercuts but I felt the energy sapping, I felt his will leaving him.

"In the sixth round he hit me with a good shot but I told him: 'Is that all you've got? You're in trouble…'

"In the back of my mind I was hoping that was all he's got!"

WASHINGTON - JUNE 11:  Mike Tyson throws a punch at Kevin McBride during their heavyweight bout on June 11, 2005 at the MCI Center in Washington, DC.  McBride was declared winner when Tyson quit after the sixth round. (Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Tyson;Kevin McBride
Image: McBride says that Tyson's willpower slowly left him
McBride claims that Tyson tried to illegally injure him
Image: McBride claims that Tyson tried to illegally injure him

During a chaotic sixth round, Tyson was warned by referee Joe Cortez for violently twisting McBride's arm, then docked two points for an intentional head butt.

What followed before the seventh round was the moment that Tyson's ferocious aura was finally replaced by the vulnerable soul that he had become.

It was a moment so heart-breaking for anyone who idolised Tyson's in-ring achievements - including the man who inflicted it.

"He just quit," McBride sighs.

"He quit on his stool. He had an opportunity to go out in the middle of the round but didn't.

"That will live him for the rest of his life, as far as boxing is concerned, because he quit on his stool.

"I was a bit disappointed. I was kind of sad. He is a legend.

"A man of his pedigree just quit."

Tyson reportedly pocketed $5 million for his final fight and McBride insists he earned just $150,000 in comparison.

Tyson has claimed that pay-cheque is the only reason he entered the ring at all.

But for McBride? The Irishman who eventually ended his career with 35 wins, 10 defeats and one draw enjoyed his most glorious moment in finalising Tyson's downfall.

He would never challenge for a world title but will never be allowed to forget this night in Washington DC.

"The best part wasn't beating Tyson, it was meeting Muhammad Ali at ringside," he remembers. "His daughter was fighting on the undercard.

"I gave Ali a big hug and told him: 'This is the greatest night of my life'.

"He said: 'I'm the greatest, you're the latest!'

"People said there was no way in hell I could beat Tyson but I had other plans, you know?

"It's an Irish Cinderella story."

Ali at the Tyson vs McBride fight
Image: Ali congratulated McBride at ringside
Kevin McBride
Image: Kevin McBride celebrates his greatest night

The intimidation factor that remains so synonymous with Tyson (and has returned via social media ahead of his exhibition against Jones Jr on Saturday night) was absent when he fought McBride.

"I had an hypnotist," McBride chuckles now.

"I didn't leave any stone unturned.

"My trainer Packie Collins' brother Steve had an hypnotist before he beat Chris Eubank.

"It gave me confidence.

"The hypnotist told me: 'No matter how hard he hits, you will smile'.

"Watch the fight - I was smiling.

"Everything the hypnotist said came true in the fight."

It gave McBride the internal strength not to crumble before the opening bell, as many of Tyson's opponents supposedly did when he glared at them with such angst.

"I didn't let him intimidate me. I told him: 'When I hit you, you will feel the whole of Ireland'.

"Tyson said: 'You will break your hand'.

"I said: 'As long as I break it on your head!'"

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Roy Jones Jr: Mike Tyson still has power

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Looking back at Mike Tyson’s fight in Manchester in 2000, and the chaos that came with it…

Tyson and McBride are forever linked.

"The last time I saw him was at a Hall of Fame induction show," McBride said. "I walked up to him and said: 'Do you remember me?'

"Tyson said: 'Yes Kevin, I remember you'."

The man who retired Tyson in 2005 will watch his old rival return to the ring and harbours hope they could meet one more time.

"Tyson is in phenomenal shape. He looks like a man who is hungry for the game," McBride said.

"He's giving me motivation.

"Tyson will want to take Jones Jr out early. That's what he likes to do.

"It's amazing, out of the blue, that after 15 years he is coming back. But I hope nobody gets hurt.

"I'm a tree surgeon now, I'm strong through lifting logs. If the fight with Tyson ever came again I'd need just a few weeks to be ready.

"It's never over until it's over."

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