Short of the Week

I Beat Mike Tyson

In 2005, an unknown Irish boxer beat Mike Tyson, then he disappeared. Filmmaker Joshua Z Weinstein rediscovers boxer Kevin McBride, raising his children in a gritty Boston suburb. Kevin’s body is deteriorating, yet he compulsively continues to fight.

It’s a cliché for a reason. The washed up boxer, clinging on to faded glory, looking for that one last chance. Kevin McBride had his “Rocky” or “The Fighter” moment, but it was almost a decade ago. A journeyman, McBride was selected to face Mike Tyson, the former “baddest man on the planet” as a patsy, an easy conquest on for the legend’s one last comeback.

Everyone expected McBride to go down, but he refused to be compliant. Beating Mike Tyson was a huge upset, and the archival footage provides the historical framing for this profile doc. McBride’s achievement does not console him however, it does not provide reassurance and pride at the end of a long career, it has instead fueled a insatiable hunger to recapture that glory. Brooklyn filmmaker Joshua Weinstein captures that obsession in an intimate film about the fighter, mounting yet another comeback, while his body fails him and his family waits in limbo for the next phase of his life to begin.

Boxing has provided great subjects for film. There is an elemental nature to facing off against an opponent that still registers even as the popularity of the sport craters. All those emotions are present in Weinstein’s film: pride, desperation, yearning and fear—McBride and his family fear physical harm, but he also fears being lost—of not doing the only thing he knows how.

Weinstein is a promising filmmaker. This film recently completed a healthy 2012 festival run, and his current film, a medium-form film about NYC cabbies called Drivers Wanted is at fests and on DVD now (here’s a nice interview at Filmmaker Mag). A working cinematographer, Weinstein fits in well with a new generation of documentary filmmakers like Jason Tippet or Jeremiah Zagar for whom beautiful images are not an afterthought in the process of their story-telling, where personal style and personal stories intersect. We’re glad that he has made this short film available and will continue to keep an eye out for his work.



Co-Founder of Short of the Week, Sondhi lives in Brooklyn working as a Curator for Vimeo. Follow his musings on online video, direct distribution and branded content: @jasondhi.
  • Jordan Service

    This is really beautiful. What was it shot on, anyone know? Again fantastic.

  • Jordan Service

    This is really beautiful. What was it shot on, anyone know? Again fantastic.

  • Mise Micheál an File

    I always wondered what happened to McBride, I wish him and his family the best of luck in the future. And Kevin if you ever come across this, know that we all travel the path of time but legends never die.

  • William Garcia

    too short!! you should make anouther

  • Mika Tamminen

    a journeymans tale is always sad even while the world is smiling, yes Kevin you stand 10′ tall no matter what.