'I'm going into the lion's den but I'm built for hostility - this is the moment I've been waiting for': Portsmouth's Michael McKinson delivers cold promise ahead of Vergil Ortiz Jr showdown

Michael McKinson prepared to walk into the Texas lion’s den and vowed: I can’t wait to be the enemy.

By Jordan Cross
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 8:20 am

The Pompey Problem faces the biggest moment he or boxing in this city has ever witnessed, when he clashes with rising American star Vergil Ortiz Jr in the early of hours of Sunday morning.

Ortiz Jr is seen as a future great with 18 knockout wins from his 18 contests, and will be roared on by a partisan support at the 14,000 capacity Dickies Arena in Fort Werth.

It’s set to be a huge occasion in the DAZN-televised welterweight showdown against the man ranked number one by both the WBO and WBC.

Mikey McKinson. Picture: Golden Boy Promotions

But McKinson believes it’s an occasion which will not faze him and he will rise to.

He said: ‘I’m the enemy.

‘There’s going to be a lot of Latinos and Latin-Americans.

‘It’s going to be hostile, but I was built for hostility. I was built for uncomfortable circumstances.

‘It’s not going to faze me one bit, in fact it’s going to make me perform better.

‘I actually can’t wait to be the villain and be the enemy.

‘I’m sure I will leave America with more friends than when I came.

‘Fight week is going to be fun and games.

‘Vergil is a polite, nice and respectful lad, but we’ll see what his fans want to throw at me!’

‘I’m really, really excited.

‘I won’t have the travelling numbers I had in March, because it’s double the money to get to Texas in the summer.

‘But I’m here to do a job and I’m in a good place right now.’

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The Ortiz Jr clash is a moment McKinson has been building towards his whole life, in a career where the 22-0 has been granted few favours.

But the Portsmouth lad has overcome every hurdle put in his path to now stand on a moment which would rank as a huge upset.

McKinson added: ‘Mentally I’m cut differently.

‘I deserve to be here, firstly.

‘Okay, I’m fighting an opponent with a 100 per cent record who is tipped for whatever he’s tipped for.

‘I deserve to be here, I’ve worked myself up from the very bottom.

‘I’m undefeated and I’ve overcome every challenge I’ve faced with a smile on my face.

‘I am a world class fighter and I do deserve to be here.

‘I’m here on merit, I’m here for this fight with Vergil Ortiz Jr in Texas on merit.

‘I’ve put in all the hard work over the years, not just now and the rollercoaster journey has taken me here.

‘It’s tough but it’s been worth it, beat Ortiz and I’m there.’