‘I’ve got to win in style’ – Mikey McKinson promises ‘statement’ display in his first fight under the Matchroom Boxing banner
Mikey McKinson is promising to 'make a statement' in his first fight under the Matchroom Boxing banner later this summer.
The Pompey Problem acknowledges he needs to win in 'style' with all eyes on him following his big breakout victory over Chris Kongo earlier this year.
McKinson, 26, who signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom label in April, is looking ahead to his next test with a battle against Pole Przemyslaw Runowski on the Fight Camp 2 show confirmed for August 14.
The contest for the Pompey fighter's WBO Global welterweight title, which he won by beating Kongo in Gibraltar in March, will be his first since joining Matchroom.
McKinson - 20-0 in the professional ranks - is aware that an 'eye-catching' win is required against Runowski if he is to get his shot at one of the biggest names on the welterweight scene.
'There is added pressure,’ he told The News. ‘It’s new for me to be the favourite, but the motivation stays the same.
‘It’s a must-win fight, a tough fight. I want big names so I need to get through Runowski and I need to get through him looking good as well, so that’s the plan.
‘I need to put on an eye-catching performance, make a statement, my first fight of me being the new kid on the block to Matchroom - I’ve got to impress.
‘My job is not just to win, but to win in style.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if a knockout comes (against Runowski) - I wouldn’t have been surprised if a knockout came in the Chris Kongo fight - I think other people would be more surprised than I would and me and my team.
‘Knockout or not, it needs to be an eye-catching performance, I need to look levels above this guy.
‘On paper it’s another 50-50, it’s a real tough fight on paper, but I need to make sure it doesn’t look a tough fight when I get in there.
‘Everyone I have, they’re all tough fights, I wasn’t expecting an easy fight - I’m on the cusp of real big things at the moment.'
Runowski heads into the fight with an impressive 19-1 record as a professional.
But the sole defeat came in his only fight outside of his homeland - suffering a unanimous decision loss to Josh Kelly in April 2019.
McKinson recalled welterweight rival Kelly making Runowski look 'ordinary' in their 02 Arena battle - but insisted the Polish fighter's record since that defeat shows his improvement since then.
McKinson said: 'From what I remember, Josh Kelly made him look very ordinary and beat him wide on points.
'Obviously that was two years ago; since then he’s bounced back very well, the last guy he fought - that Syrowatka (Michal) - he knocked out in four rounds. That was a very good win because Syrowatka knocked out Robbie Davis jr.
‘If people want to look into the records, this is a very dangerous fight, but I make dangerous fighters look relatively easy.
‘As long as I prepare how I do, get the hard sparring, continue to develop like I have been, then I’m more than confident of making myself look good.'