‘This opportunity is my golden ticket … I’m in this sport to change mine and my daughter’s life’ – Mikey McKinson ahead of his WBO Global title fight
Mikey McKinson vowed to grab his 'golden ticket' opportunity with both hands and prove just how good he is to the boxing world.
And the Pompey Problem insisted all his focus remains on Chris Kongo and not what could await him if he is to defeat the Bermondsey boxer.
McKinson finally gets the big moment he feels is just deserved on the Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin II undercard on Sky Sports Box Office this Saturday.
The 26-year-old is putting his undefeated 19-0 record on the line in a mouthwatering Battle of Britain for unbeaten Kongo's WBO Global welterweight title in Gibraltar.
For McKinson, it's the chance he's waited his whole career for - and he's determined not to let it slip.
He admits his journey from fighting on cards at Downpatrick Cricket Club, Belfast, to where he finds himself now has been a 'roller-coaster'.
But McKinson says his humble beginnings and how hard he's worked to get his big shot just make him even hungrier to deliver with the boxing world watching.
He said: 'This is my golden ticket. I’m extremely grateful to my opponent and his team for giving me this opportunity.
‘It was frustrating before as I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity and I’m extremely grateful for it.
‘This opportunity is my golden ticket, there’s no way Chris Kongo is going to beat me, I’m in this sport to change mine and my daughter’s life.
'It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been in boxing my whole life and I’ve sacrificed many, many years for this sport and not got a lot back, although I’ve had success.
‘I was born to be on this platform, these big events.
‘It’s been a long time coming, now I’m finally here I’ve got to get my win now to make sure I stay here.
‘I’m very confident and I’m really excited because I get to prove to the world who I am and how good I am.'
Victory in front of the Sky Sports Box Office cameras would catapult McKinson into the top-five of the WBO world rankings.
In turn, it would put him in line for a huge domestic fight with either Connor Benn or Josh Kelly and, potentially, in the picture for a world title chance.
But McKinson says he's made the point of doing minimal media and promotion work in the build-up because he knows what's at stake.
While Matchroom's Kongo has had his fair share of attention as fight night draws closer, the Pompey Problem has made a concerted effort to stay away from any distractions ahead of the biggest night of his career.
And the southpaw is hoping that pays dividends when he and Kongo put their unblemished pro records on the line on the show being billed as the 'Rumble on the Rock'.
McKinson said: 'The world is watching Chris Kongo, the world is watching him, which is a great thing for me.
‘For this fight, no distractions, no promos, no things like that, it’s purely focusing on my task ahead - like a true professional I’ve been throughout this training camp.
‘I’ve cut zero corners, I’ve got a lot of thanks to every single member of my team for getting me in such great shape mentally and physically.
‘We decided we didn’t want any promos or anything like that, we just wanted to focus on our work.
‘You can get easily distracted with things like that. We’ve had no distractions, we’ve got our work done and stuff like that.
‘Whatever comes next would be big, whether it’s domestic or even if I have to travel, my future is going to be big after beating Chris Kongo.
‘I’ve got a job to do first, I haven’t thought about what or who could be next and stuff like this, I’ve got to get the job done.'