Martin Harkin feels he has gone under the radar in recent years – so has vowed to make a big statement by defeating Michael McKinson on next week’s action-packed #MTKFightNight event.
Unbeaten Harkin (13-0, 5 KOs) faces fellow undefeated fighter McKinson (18-0, 2 KOs) on a huge card at Production Park Studios in Wakefield on Sunday 18 October, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Scottish star Harkin is well up for the showdown, and is relishing the chance to gatecrash the top of the welterweight division with a win.
Harkin said: “I’m very excited to be fighting. This is a great platform to show people who I am. I’ve slipped under the radar and I’m mostly unknown, so I’m delighted with this chance and I’m going to grab it with both hands.
“It’s been frustrating for every boxer recently, and a lot of fighters are still on the shelve and not sure when their next contest will be, so I’m fortunate enough to have secured this fight.
“McKinson is a top fighter. He’s ranked in the top three in Britain and I’m expecting a hard fight as I always do. I’m more than prepared for whatever he brings to the table on the night.
“He has a lot of qualities but just like every fighter has, he has faults as well. Me and my coach Danny Lee have a plan which the viewers will see on fight night.”
Michael McKinson: No fighter in the UK beats me
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.”
Michael McKinson: I’ll show that I’m a different level to Martin Harkin
Michael McKinson has vowed to show that he is levels above Martin Harkin when the two men meet in tonight’s huge #MTKFightNight main event.
Portsmouth star McKinson has made it clear that he wants big fights in the near future, and he plans to show that he is a different level to Harkin.
McKinson said: “Being an avoided fighter is bittersweet. I’ve had to come to terms with it. It’s a compliment that these guys don’t want to fight me and means I’m the real deal. It’s frustrating because I want to prove myself as the best fighter in the UK.
“There are one or two fighters lower down the rankings that call me out, and fair play to them, but these guys don’t do anything for me. You’re not on my radar whatsoever.
“Martin Harkin is undefeated in 13 and has tremendous knockout power. He knocked out an undefeated fighter in his last fight but I’m a different level to these guys. I’ve been thrown in the deep end several times and come out swimming, so he best bring his armbands.
“It’s been a great camp, and I’ll come in a very big welterweight on the night and you’ll all see something special. You’re going to see me making a good fighter look ordinary and I’ll shine like I always do.”
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.”
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, Jack Rafferty goes up against Tom Hill, Lewie Edmondson faces Andy Bishop, and Paul McCullagh enters the paid ranks.