Michael McKinson emphatically stopped Sergio Dos Santos Carvalho (13-1, 11 KOs) in the 5th round at a small hall show in Rome.
McKinson had stated before the fight to JTH Boxing, his reasoning for taking the fight in Italy, highlighting a desire for staying active to best prepare him for challenges to come.
‘I want to stay busy and that’s why I took this fight in Rome with the Brazilian. On a smaller show, but it’s an investment in myself and my future’
Michael McKinson’s Knockout Win in Rome
McKinson ditched his traditional elusive style as a tricksy southpaw, electing instead to plant his feet and back Carvalho up onto the ropes.
Once he was in that vulnerable spot, McKinson neatly switched between sharp uppercuts and strength-sapping liver shots. It was the later of those two punch types that would provide him with his third career win by knockout.
A common fallacy of critics of the Pompey fighter is that he doesn’t hit hard. In truth, Michael McKinson has always had punch power. A case supported by the fact he secured 6 knockdowns in his 3 fights immediately after winning the European title.
Tonight, you could just tell he had the confidence to know he was many levels above his opponent. The spirited self-belief shone through in McKinson, adding an extra pop to his shots from the first round and assisting him in executing a game plan of coming forward with bad intent.
All bodes well then for the tougher tests that are sure to come. Here’s a look at what could be next.
Michael McKinson has set his sights on another fight stateside with the likes of Blair Cobbs and Alexis Rocha in mind. But he hasn’t limited his scope solely to another American away day.
Prior to the Carvalho fight, McKinson did admit he would still be prepared to face a UK rival under the following condition. It has to be against one of Conor Benn, Florian Marku, Ekow Essuman, or Chris Kongo, declaring that it was ‘them four or no one domestically’ to JTH Boxing.
Any of those options would signal a welcome return to prime-time boxing for Michael McKinson. But you feel he may just come to be very grateful for staying busy and rebounding on the comeback trail after the Vergil Ortiz loss.
By Harry Duffy