Michael McKinson says he is ready to announce himself as the best Welterweight in the country when he takes on Chris Kongo for the WBO Global Welterweight Title at the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar on Saturday March 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.
Portsmouth’s McKinson has won all 19 of his professional contests, with two of those wins coming via knockout, and the 26-year-old prospect has picked up the WBC Youth World, WBC International Silver and WBO European Welterweight Titles in an impressive run.
Kongo comes into this weekend's battle of the unbeaten Welterweights coming off the back of a breakout win over Luther Clay at Fight Camp lust summer, but 'The Problem' believes he is a level above Bracknell's Clay and is determined to prove it in 'The Rumble On The Rock'.
“I found out recently that maybe he wanted to fight me a couple of years ago," said McKinson. "I must have had a Title fight lined up. I’ve been in some decent level fights for a good few years now whereas he hasn’t. He had a tough time getting fights. I’ve been in quite a few Title fights now. He was very inactive and very frustrated for a while.
"I always want to fight the guys that have a big platform and the guys that have a lot of hype around them. I want to prove myself as the best Welterweight in the UK. I’ve been calling for big fights for quite a while. After my last fight, the one name that I called out in my post fight interview was Chris. Then we got on somebody’s Instagram live and there was a bit of back and forth.
"It has all been respectful to be fair. I knew that Chris would fight me. I’ve been wanting a big fight for a while and nothing really materialised until my manager Lee Eaton from MTK called me and asked me if I’d fight Chris in six weeks. I said definitely. The three extra weeks because of the delay have just been a bonus.
"I’ve started from the very bottom. I’m from a small fighting city really, Portsmouth. I’ve had to do things the hard way. I’ve been the B side many times before. I’ve fought for no money; I’ve come up the hard way with little publicity. I wasn’t a top amateur which didn’t help me when I first turned pro.
“You've got two hungry ambitious confident lads, unbeaten lads coming to the ring and fighting each other. It’s great for the boxing public. I was impressed that he got Luther Clay out of there and stopped him. I’ve sparred with Luther Clay a lot in the past. He’s in with a different kettle of fish this time. He will notice that very early."
Kongo vs. McKinson is part of a huge night of action in Gibraltar, Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) rematches Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) with the Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title on the line, Bermondsey's Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) meets Liverpool's James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title, Ipswich Heavyweight talent Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) steps-up again against USA’s former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 19 KOs), Manchester Super-Featherweight Campbell Hatton – son of British fight legend Ricky Hatton – makes his professional debut against Jesus Ruiz, Heavyweight contender Eric Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KOs) locks horns with Nick Webb (16-2, 12 KOs) and Wembley Super-Featherweight Youssef Khoumari ( 11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Birmingham’s Kane Baker (14-7).