K1 Kickboxing champion
Michael Anthony McDonald was born in Birmingham, England. By the age of two his family had moved to Mandeville, Jamaica, and then moved again eight years later to Edmonton, Canada, where he remained through his school years.
While growing up Michael was active in a variety of sports including track and field, football, soccer, baseball and wrestling. At the age of 17 a friend introduced him to the world of Muay-Thai Kickboxing and the seeds of his lifetime passion were sown. Graduating from school, Michael worked in Toronto and then returned to Edmonton. There he made the decision to get serious about his training as a fighter.
Re-joining his original gym Michael quickly found himself training along side former Canadian Champion Jimmy Cheung and former World Champion Billy Chau. Exposure to these fighters inspired his dedication to the art and skill of being a fighter and he soon found himself in his first professional fight in Regina, Saskatchewan. Facing a heavily favored local fighter, Michael took only 30 seconds of the first round to dispose of his first professional opponent.
When the company he worked for transferred Michael to Vancouver, BC, he found a new gym and continued his training. Within just a few years of professional fighting Michael accumulated several kickboxing titles (see Stats).
In 1996 Michael made the move to the epicenter of K-1 fighting, Tokyo, Japan, and made the sport his full-time career. Here he met and trained with the 1992 Karate World Cup Champion, Andy Hug. Michael and Hug joined together with other fighters forming "Team Andy" and Michael stayed with the team for 3 years fighting in the coveted K-1 Grand Prix several times.
In 2000 Michael stunned a crowd of 35,000 in Fukuoka, Japan, by winning against the heavily favored Nicolas Pettas. Gaining his nickname "The BlackSniper," Michael established himself as a household name in Japan where K-1 has a huge fan base.
When K-1 fighting came to North America, Michael came too. In a heavily battled victory over Rick Roufus, Michael both settled an old score and won the K-1 USA 2002 Championship and the K-1 North American Grand-Prix 2002 Championship.
This year, he re-claimed the K-1 USA 2004 North American Grand Prix Championship. Knocked down in the first round of the quarter finals, Michael got up and dispatched his opponent with a KO. Scoring a second KO in the semi-final round advanced Michael to the final. In front of a packed house of 6,000 fans at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Michael dispatched Dewey Cooper to win these Titles for the third time in three years. This victory was made all the sweeter when the award was presented to Michael by Muhammad Ali accompanied by Mike Tyson.
With a newly established training base in North Vancouver, BC, Michael McDonald continues to hone the passion, the discipline and the warrior spirit of "The BlackSniper".