Saturday’s Povetkin-Whyte 2 show features some good undercard matchups, one of which is a meeting between unbeaten welterweights Chris Kongo and Michael McKinson, who both want to break out on the domestic scene and head to bigger things.
Kongo (12-0, 7 KO) has a minor WBO belt that they call the “Global” title for whatever WBO reason they have for that, sounds cool I guess, and will defend it against McKinson (19-0, 2 KO). Bigger than the belt itself is ranking with the WBO.
“I’m the underdog in this fight,” said Kongo. “I’ll win it. I’ve got a better skillset, I’m stronger, a lot faster and it’s all about being smart in the ring and I believe I’m the best and the smartest in the UK — period.
To be clear, Kongo is actually not the underdog in this fight, as he’s a solid favorite around -250 to -300 on books listing the bout right now, with McKinson between +175 and +250. Kongo, says he and the 26-year-old McKinson sparred once a few years ago, and McKinson didn’t come back after.
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And on the sparring tip, Kongo is confident he’s had the sort of preparation that has him ready for this matchup.
“I’ve been sparring top fighters, a guy that’s going on to become undisputed champion of the world,” he said. “I can’t get any better preparation than that, so I’m fully ready and focused. To be able to spar a world champion before I go into a British level fight is wicked. It’s going to up my game and it has. I’ve been able to feel it, I’ve seen it. I feel a lot better and I feel a lot sharper.
“A lot of people are mentioning me in the mix with the likes of Conor Benn and Josh Kelly, now it’s my time to put my stamp on the division. I believe I am the best in the UK. Now it’s my time coming up, and I believe right now is the worst time to fight me. Michael McKinson, I’m bringing fireworks and I’m bringing the heat so make sure you’re ready.”