Portsmouth's Mikey McKinson has Las Vegas in his sights on the back of ground-breaking American adventure - and future Fratton Park occasion as he bids to tick off big-name venues and sweep aside 'world-class' opposition

Mikey McKinson has just ticked off the dream of making his American fight debut with victory in Los Angeles - now Portsmouth's boxing flagbearer is eyeing up a potential Las Vegas showdown as early as this summer.

By Lewis Mason
Monday, 28th March 2022, 1:58 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 5:54 pm

And the ambitious southpaw says he would not shy away from a contest with anyone in the stacked welterweight division - including two-weight world champion and current WBO world 147lb title holder and States superstar Terence Crawford.

McKinson, 27, is now back in training and eager for his MTK Global management team and promoters Matchroom Boxing to fix a summer date for him following his victory over fellow southpaw Alex Martin at the LA Galen Centre earlier a little more than a week ago.

The now 22-0 tricky former Moneyfields ABC fighter is not content with basking in the glory of his American fight debut.

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Instead, he is hungry to be back in the ring again as soon as possible and is hoping that arrives at a glamorous Las Vegas venue.

‘I’m extremely proud but I want to know is what’s next - I don’t want to live off my LA experience. I want to look forward,’ McKinson told The News.

‘I told the American press straight after (defeating Alex Martin), obviously there are some names they want me to fight over there and stuff, I said, ‘great, I’ve done LA, I want to do Vegas.’

‘In the meantime, I’ve fought in LA, let me fight in Vegas. That’s most people’s dreams, there are a few American fighters who called me out and want to fight me, it makes sense if there are Golden Boy fighters - I’ve just boxed on a Golden Boy show - if they can sit down with my promoter, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom and come up with the numbers then that’s a possibility also. The possibilities are endless, they are, for the first time there are some options there.

Mikey McKinson is eyeing more big fight nights in the remainder of this year Picture: Golden Boy Promotions

‘For me, I just do what I’m told, I’ve got a great management team in MTK Global and a great promotion team in Matchroom.

‘Whatever they think is right is what I’ll do - I just don’t want to be out for too long. I’m back in the gym now, I still want to stay as active as possible, I still want to fight two times this year so as long as I’m active I’m happy.’

But given where he finds himself currently following his victory over Martin in Los Angeles on Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions show, the south coast man says ticking off all those destinations and arenas is feasible for the future.

Mikey McKinson, right, lands a shot on Alex Martin in his American showdown in Los Angeles Picture: Golden Boy Promotions

Yet no matter whoever and wherever McKinson's next bout arrives, he wants it to be against 'world-class' opposition - whether that be a current or former world champion or one of Britain's big welterweight hitters in Kell Brook, Amir Khan or Conor Benn.

‘Obviously the Fratton Park one is always there for me and that is my biggest goal in boxing to try to fight on Fratton Park,’ said McKinson.

‘I’m not looking at the domestic guys. I think if it’s not Khan (Amir), Brook (Kell) or Benn (Connor), I’m not interested, because that’s a step down.

‘If it’s not them three, then it’s genuine world-class fighters, proven world-class fighters and I deserve nothing less.

‘They’re the guys I want, they’re the guys I deserve, so who knows what can be next? But my name is there now isn’t it.

‘It’s no secret that I will fight anybody - I accepted a fight with Vergil Ortiz - I turned up.

‘I’m starting to feel I’m getting the credit I deserve, but I do want to prove myself by beating a world-class name and I won’t settle for anything less next time.

‘We went to fight Vergil Ortiz so we were just happy we got to fight. I want a genuine world-class name, a world champion, a former world champion, whoever that may be. If I got the phone call for anyone (top names) I will 100 per cent take it.’

But one fight McKinson is not resting his hopes on is the possible rescheduling of his cancelled bout with Vergil Ortiz Jr.

And with speculation circulating Ortiz Jr was struggling to make the 147lb weight category, McKinson says he's not pinning sights on a possible new date being agreed.

He added: ‘In the first place, I was lucky to get that Ortiz fight, he was number one with the WBO and the WBC, he didn’t need to fight me.

‘The only positive I got out of that, him pulling out, I got loads more supporters. I was going there to fight Ortiz, I would have been heavily booed, I was fighting the star boy there.

‘He pulled out, I won myself loads more supporters and I announced myself to the US scene.

‘I’m not relying on it (possible Ortiz Jr fight rescheduling) because if the rumours are true and it is the weight problem, surely he shouldn’t fight at 147lbs again.'

But whatever arrives next for proud Portsmouth fighter McKinson, it certainly seems as though it will be another huge occasion the people of his city are sure to throw their weight behind once again.