Michael McKinson finally gets to test his skills against a British rival when he faces Martin Harkin next weekend – and he’s determined to show just why he thinks he’s the best welterweight in the country.
Undefeated McKinson (18-0, 2 KOs) faces fellow unbeaten fighter Harkin (13-0, 5 KOs) on a huge #MTKFightNight at Production Park Studios Wakefield on Sunday 18 October, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
With his last two wins coming over foreign opposition, McKinson is excited to test himself against a Brit again and is ready to make a statement.
McKinson said: “Martin Harkin is a dangerous puncher. It’s a dangerous fight for me, but I’ve proven before that I can swim with sharks. I’m excited about the challenge, and I’m very excited to fight finally.
“It’s been a terrible year for most boxers, so I’m thankful to MTK Global that they’ve been able to secure this fight. I was very active in 2019, and I had three great wins. I learned a lot from all three fights, and now it’s all about kicking on.
“I know that I’m a great fighter, and I’ve been knocking on the door of greatness for a while. These fighters and the big fights can’t run from me forever, and I’m on the verge of huge things.
“It’s a shame it’s behind closed doors as I have great support from Portsmouth that travel with me and are ever-growing. We’ve just got do what we have to do, though, and as long as I’m prepared, then even with fans or no fans, nobody beats me.”
Martin Harkin: I don’t care if Michael McKinson is overlooking me
Martin Harkin isn’t allowing Michael McKinson’s talk of bigger fights to distract him ahead of their showdown on Sunday’s must-see #MTKFightNight event.
McKinson has made it clear that he wants to be involved in some huge fights after this, but Harkin insists he’ll throw a spanner in the works.
Harkin said: “I’m focused on taking his position in the rankings. Once I beat him, everyone will know who I am and a lot of doors will open for me.
“If McKinson is overlooking me I’m not bothered, that’s his approach. I just concentrate on myself. It’s unfortunate that fans can’t be at the show, but Ill be too focused on the job to notice.
“I’m expecting a tough fight against McKinson, but I’m more than ready to show everybody what I am capable of.”
Marcel Braithwaite Ready For Harris
Marcel Braithwaite knows a win over Jay Harris can see him gatecrash the top of the flyweight division when they meet on Sunday’s action-packed #MTKFightNight.
Braithwaite (9-2) challenges Harris (17-1, 9 KOs) for his Commonwealth flyweight title against on a huge card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield on Sunday, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Liverpool boxer Braithwaite is back following a good performance against Sunny Edwards in his last fight, and he wants to build on that showing by earning a win against Harris.
Braithwaite: “I’m excited to be back in the ring and grateful to be able to fight with everything that’s going on in the world at the moment. It’s been 10 months since I was last out so I’m looking forward to getting in there.
“I had a lot of positive feedback from my last fight against Sunny Edwards, but I didn’t win so I wasn’t happy. There were a lot of factors to overcome so we gained valuable experience, but it was back to the drawing board and we’ve made a lot of changes.
“I’m focused on moving forward in my career and in life. I said I would fight anyone and I’m a man of my word. Jay Harris fought for a world title in his last fight, and if I beat him it puts me right up there.
“I watched his fight with Martinez, and I don’t want to say too much on the matter, but there’s levels in boxing and we will see what level I’m at come fight night.”
Jay Harris wants another world title shot
Jay Harris introduced himself to the world with his superb performance against Julio Cesar Martinez earlier this year – and he hopes a win over Marcel Braithwaite this weekend can pave the way for another crack at world honours.
It’s the first fight back for Harris since his great showing against Martinez for the WBC title back in February, and while he isn’t overlooking Braithwaite, he wants to move one step closer to another world title shot.
Harris said: “I’m very excited to get back in the ring. I’m expecting a tough fight as Marcel is going to come to win. He had a good fight with Sunny Edwards in his last outing, so I’ve trained hard and prepared for any sort of situation that Marcel is going to bring.
“I think the whole experience of the world title fight was unreal. It was the best I’ve had in boxing, during the whole build up, and even the fight, despite it not going my way. I’ve taken a lot from the whole experience and I would look forward to doing it again in the future.
“It’s really good to get straight back into a competitive fight. I didn’t want anyone that I can just blow over in a couple of rounds as there’s no point and it wouldn’t be respected. This fight on the other hand is a great fight and I’ll have to be focused and on my game, so this gets me excited.
“I’m hoping to get another world title shot, but I’m not looking past Marcel. This fight is as important as any other fight, so I’ve just got to focus on the job at hand.”
Butler: I’ve seen how to exploit Walker
Paul Butler makes his highly-anticipated return to the ring when he takes on Ryan Walker on Sunday’s huge #MTKFightNight – and the Ellesmere Port man feels he has seen enough to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses.
Former world champion Butler (31-2, 15 KOs) faces Walker (11-2, 2 KOs) on a huge card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Walker was in action against Lee McGregor during an action-packed #MTKFightNight in August, and Butler has revealed that he accepted this weekend’s fight after watching just one minute of that bout.
Butler said: “I’m buzzing that MTK Global have got me out so quick. Before I signed I didn’t think I’d be boxing this year, so I’m over the moon they’ve got me out.
“I don’t know too much about Ryan Walker. I looked through his record and watched about 1 minute of him against Lee McGregor and accepted the fight. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s a game kid and will come to win, so he’s not coming to make the numbers up.
“I’ll sit down and watch the full fight of him and McGregor a few times before I get in there on fight night. With me only watching a minute and accepting it, I’ve seen enough to exploit.
“Fighting in a empty arena doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I’m going there to do a job and in good fashion. When I’m fighting in big arenas there is only a handful of voices I hear that I take notice of anyway, and that’s my corner and me dad.
“Hopefully this fight pushes me up to number 2 with the IBF as I’m making championship weight. Then we will see what happens from there.”
Walker: I’ve learned from my mistakes
Ryan Walker feels he has been given a second chance to prove himself as he prepares to take on Paul Butler on Sunday’s action-packed #MTKFightNight event.
Walker (11-2, 2 KOs) goes up against former world champion Butler (31-2, 15 KOs) on a huge card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Former Southern Area champion Walker has been sparring with recent foe Lee McGregor in the build-up to the fight, and he feels he has learned plenty to give him the edge this weekend.
Walker said: “I’ve got a second chance to prove myself on a big platform and I’ve had time to work on things that will make sure I’m ready come fight night. I’ve known about Butler for a while now, he has been at world level so I’m expecting a good scrap.
“Me and Lee McGregor have had wars in sparring since our fight. I’ve had to up my level of competitive sparring and that’s the best way to learn and correct all mistakes, so I’ve come on a lot.”
“I feel much more confident going into this now that I know what to expect. This fight will open a lot of doors for me and it’s a massive opportunity. I’m 100% focused on this fight and not looking past it.”
Tom Hill: I’m hungry for this opportunity
Tom Hill feels the loss he suffered earlier in his career has helped him become better than ever for his showdown with Jack Rafferty on Sunday’s huge #MTKFightNight event.
Former Northern Area title challenger Hill (9-1, 2 KOs) faces unbeaten Rafferty (12-0, 7 KOs) on a must-see card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
After tasting defeat last year, Hill feels rejuvenated, and believes it has been a blessing in disguise ahead of the battle with Rafferty.
Hill said: “I don’t know a great deal about Rafferty. I’ve seen a few fights on YouTube and that’s about it. He looks a decent kid so I’m expecting a good fight.
“I can’t take too much from the fights I’ve seen of him because he’ll be a different fighter when he has someone like me in front of him.
“I’ve got the loss on my record, but I learnt a lot more from that one loss than I’ve learnt in my full professional career and I genuinely believe it will turn out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to me.
“It will be a weird experience fighting in front of no fans, but that could be a good thing as I’ll be able to hear my coach throughout. It won’t be the same without everyone there supporting me though.
“With a win here, I want to be on more big fight cards, get some even bigger fights and win titles. That’s what we’re all in the sport for.”
Rafferty relishing his toughest test yet
Shaw boxer Jack Rafferty is excited to test his skills against a dangerous opponent when he goes up against Tom Hill on Sunday’s must-see #MTKFightNight event.
Unbeaten Rafferty (12-0, 7 KOs) faces former Northern Area title challenger Hill (9-1, 2 KOs) on a huge card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
It will be the first eight-round fight of Rafferty’s career, and he’s looking forward to challenging himself against an opponent that will be coming to win.
Rafferty said: “I cannot wait to be back in that ring. I can’t thank MTK Global enough for getting me a fight under these circumstances as there are many boxers out there wanting to be in my position.
“This is definitely my hardest fight to date. I think it will bring the best out in me as he is coming to win. In some of the fights I have been in they have just wanted to survive the fight. I know he is a tall boxer with the height and reach and can mix it up, so I know it will be an exciting fight as we will both be on our game.
“My trainer Steve Maylett has gone through this already when Liam Taylor fought at this venue, so he knows the set up and how it runs, so it will make the experience a little smoother.
“When I win this fight I would like to be out again hopefully before the end of the year if possible. I want to keep climbing up the rankings and maybe get a 10 round fight or a title shot if possible.”
Also on the bill on Sunday is a superb fight between two unbeaten fighters, as Michael McKinson takes on Martin Harkin, while recent world title challenger Jay Harris defends his Commonwealth flyweight title against Marcel Braithwaite.
Elsewhere, former world champion Paul Butler goes up against Ryan Walker, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Scott James, Lewie Edmondson faces Andy Bishop, and Paul McCullagh enters the paid ranks.
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