Scheduled four-bout live stream to begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT
One of Great Britain’s most promising welterweights, Michael “The Problem” McKinson, is ready to conquer Europe. McKinson, a native of Portsmouth, England, will take on Russian veteran Evgeny Pavko in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European welterweight title on the latest edition of #MTKFightNight Saturday from the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, England.
McKinson-Pavko will headline a scheduled four-bout card that will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
“This is a good bout,” McKinson said. “Nobody in Britain wanted to fight me, so we’ve had to go the harder route and take on a dangerous Russian.”
McKinson (16-0, 2 KOs), a slick southpaw, is taking a step up in competition after winning both the WBC Youth and WBC International silver welterweight belts in less than five years as a professional. He last fought March 9 at the Brentwood Centre, outboxing Ryan Kelly over 10 rounds. Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs), from Kopeysk, Russia, is 2-0 since moving up from the super lightweight division. Unbeaten in three career fights outside of Russia, Pavko has not fought in seven months. Last December, he stopped the previously undefeated Fedor Vinogradov on cuts following the fifth round.
In other action scheduled for ESPN+:
- Rising British welterweight prospect Shaquille “The Black Mexican” Day (12-0, 2 KOs) will fight countryman Louis Adolphe (10-1, 1 KO) in a 10-rounder for the vacant British Southern Area welterweight strap. Day has knocked out two of his last three opponents.
- Former amateur star Chantelle Cameron (10-0, 7 KOs) will make her third ring appearance of 2019 versus Anisha Basheel (8-5, 8 KOs) in a 10-round WBC world title lightweight eliminator for the belt currently held by undisputed world champion Katie Taylor. Basheel has won eight straight fights by knockout since beginning her career 0-5 and is coming off a first-round stoppage over Sam “SJ” Smith for the vacant Commonwealth female lightweight title.
- Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0, 4 KOs) will look to notch his second win of the year against Brayan Mairena (10-12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight tilt.
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McKinson unfazed by gamble against huge-hitting Russian
Feared welterweight Michael McKinson admits taking on dangerous Evgeny Pavko is a risk but is fully confident of taking the Russian to school.
‘The Problem’ (16-0, 2 KOs) is one of the most avoided fighters in the UK having already cruised to WBC world Youth and WBC International Silver honours. On Saturday night, he bids for WBO European glory.
After scouring the domestic scene for a viable rival in vain, McKinson plays host to heavy-handed Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs) on tomorrow’s busy #MTKFightNight at the Brentwood Centre – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV.
Ahead of an intriguing 10-rounder, McKinson said: “I had to take this unknown gamble. He’s a massive puncher but I’ve taken gambles since I’ve turned professional so if people want to run and hide then step aside because I’m coming through.
“Yes, Saturday night is a gamble but I know it’s one that’s going to pay off because I’m 100% certain I’ll come out the victor.
“I’m fully focused on Pavko and have been for weeks. Once I take care of him in impeccable fashion, then we can start knocking on doors and mentioning other names again. I’ll take care of business and then talk again.
“I’m so confident going in to Saturday. I can’t wait to prove all those people who still doubt I’m the real deal wrong. Again.
“I’m doing big things for Portsmouth. I’m always flying the flag for them and now I’m fighting a Russian, everyone will be backing me in my bid to protect British pride on Saturday night.”
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