Vergil Ortiz Jr. has yet to enjoy the feeling of tarnishing another fighter’s unblemished record.
Michael McKinson believes that to be a significant edge in his favor heading into this weekend’s clash of unbeaten welterweights.
England’s McKinson (22-0, 2KOs) represents a different look for Ortiz (18-0, 18KOs), a rising contender from the greater Dallas area who fights at home for the third straight time. The two collide this Saturday on DAZN from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, with McKinson believing he has a leg up on anyone that Ortiz has faced to date.
“He’s never faced anyone who hasn’t tasted defeat,” McKinson told BoxingScene.com and other reporters during a recent media conference call. “I’ve never tasted defeat. I don’t know what it’s like to lose.
“I’m a very proud Englishman. I’m coming to the other side of the world. I’m coming to the lion’s den… to tame the lion. He’s proved that he’s a great young fighter. But I have a style that can expose things in most fighters. I know I have a hard fight in front of me but I’m very confident of pulling it off.”
McKinson has been here before. The 28-year-old southpaw from Portsmouth, England has faced and defeated four unbeaten opponents, including three straight over a 16-month span to propel his way into contention. He enters this weekend as a +900 underdog according to FanDuel Sportsbook, but brimming with confidence based on his past history of ruining the perfect record of several other fighters.
“Undefeated fighters are hungry. They’re hungry and their proud,” noted McKinson. “Not only have I taken undefeated records before, I’ve taken them from fighters in their backyard. I’ve gone into hostility to do it. I know this is on a bigger scale, coming to Texas and fighting Vergil in his backyard. I’m built for this. I’m built different. If people look at my rise, at my record, I’ve taken gambles. I’ve defied the odds and come out victorious. Now I get to do it against a young fighter that’s tipped for superstardom.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox