WASHINGTON - Mike Tyson didn't threaten to eat anyone's children; instead, he snuggled with three of his own on stage. The former world heavyweight champion didn't offend any women; instead, he thanked his ex-wife, Monica Turner, for "being in my corner and taking care of my kids."
And when it was time to stand next to his future opponent for a photo, Tyson neither attacked him nor offered a menacing glare. Instead, he shook his hand, calling the remarks of 6-foot-6 Kevin McBride "real cute."
Tyson's boldest statement came when he told those in attendance, "There's going to be a train wreck here." He later said, "I'm in a no-win situation. If I knock this guy out in two seconds, he's a bum. If he beats me, I'm a bum."
"Iron Mike" Tyson was "Meek Mike" at yesterday's news conference at the Lincoln Theater, where his June 11 fight against McBride (32-4-1, 27 knockouts) at the MCI Center (Showtime pay per view) was announced.
Tyson (50-5, 44 KOs), who will turn 39 on June 30, is returning to the ring for the first time since July, when he was stopped in four rounds by England's Danny Williams.
Billed as "Redemption" by Marty Wynn of Raging Promotions, the fight will earn $5.5 million for Tyson, who is nearly $40 million in debt after filing for banktrupcty last year. McBride, 31, will earn $150,000.
Women's light heavyweight champ Laila Ali (20-0, 17 KOs) is expected to meet Miami's Erin Toughill (6-1-1, no knockouts) on the undercard.
McBride has won his past seven fights by knockout, but the native of Clones, Ireland, also has been stopped four times, the last by 211-pound DaVarryl Williamson in January 2002.
"I've only been showing little bits in fights, but I haven't shown the true Kevin McBride," said the Brockton, Mass., resident. "I'll shock the world. Believe it. I have the power - the Irish power."
McBride's promoter, Rich Cappiello, even more boldly stated: "I think Mike Tyson gets knocked out within five rounds."
But the first thing you notice about McBride isn't his size, but his chin: It's out there like Jay Leno's. And Tyson, seven inches shorter, should have little trouble finding it.
"I've heard [McBride] talking about `no fear of Mike.' But I think everyone saw this incredible performance by Tiger Woods," said Tyson's adviser, Shelly Finkel. "In an interview, [Woods] said, `I fear nothing. I fear no one.' And then he stopped and he said, `except Mike Tyson.' "
Then Finkel turned to McBride, and said, "Maybe [Woods] knows some things you don't."