I IDOLISED him [Mike Tyson] and Muhammad Ali since the age of nine. That was one of the best nights of my life because not only did I beat Tyson, I also met Ali on the same night.
His daughter [Laila] fought on the card and after I’d won, she said Ali wanted to talk to me. He whispered in my ear, “You’re the latest, I’m the greatest.”
But Tyson, even though he wasn’t training like he used to, he still hit very hard. But I beat Tyson with tactics, by using my strength and weight and leaning on him and pushing him around.
I can still feel the shots today. I was very bruised after that fight. But I was on a mission to win and thank God I did win. It showed that the underdog can win. That’s the beauty of boxing. And he quit on his stool, against Kevin McBride – who would ever have believed it? Twenty years from now I’ll still be talking about it. I made a little bit of history and I’ll take that win with me to my grave.
I wasn’t afraid of anyone. What’s the worst that can happen? You get put to sleep. I never had fear, I believed I’d win. I’d dreamt of this moment since I was a kid; I’d always said I’d love to fight Mike Tyson. And like I said at the time, I might be slow, but if I land on you, I have heavy hands. I spoke to Tyson in the sixth round. I said, ‘Is that all you’ve got?’
I told him he was in trouble. But then he tried to bite my nipple off. I pulled back and his mouthpiece slipped off my nipple. Thank God he had the mouthpiece in, or I’d be the only guy in Ireland with just one nipple.
I think I’d have definitely knocked him out [if he had not retired on his stool]. His energy was really sapping. But Tyson quit instead. But even at the very end, he was hitting very hard. Also, I must give credit to Goody Petronelli, he gave me great help in the corner – the great trainer of the great Marvin Hagler.
Kevin McBride was speaking to James Slater