Friday, 16 August 2013


                   BLACK              SOCIAL           HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Donovan "Razor" Ruddock  born December 21, 1963, Saint Catherine, Jamaica  is a retired Canadian heavyweight boxer. He was a promising heavyweight of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ruddock earned the "Razor" nickname early on for his cutting jab but he was better known for his powerful hybrid left hook/uppercut, which he called "The Smash". One of the best exhibitions of his left hand power, was his brutal 1990 knockout of former WBA heavyweight champion Michael Dokes.

Professional career

Early years

As an amateur, Ruddock had a win over Lennox Lewis. He turned pro in 1982, but his career started slowly, having only 11 fights between 1982 and 1985. He won eight of his first nine fights, but drew his fifth. More controversy would follow in April 1985 when he lost to journeyman David Jaco, who'd been KO'd by a young Mike Tyson the year after. After eight rounds Ruddock's corner threw in the towel after he complained of breathing problems. Jaco was awarded a TKO victory. It was discovered Ruddock had a rare respiratory illness and doctors told him his career might be over.

Return to the ring

After taking 10 months off after rehabilitation Ruddock made a full recovery to the doctors surprise and resumed his boxing career winning 9 straight fights, 8 of them by KO also picking up an impressive decision win over former WBA heavyweight title-holder Mike Weaver before winning the Canadian heavyweight championship by a first-round knockout against Ken Lakusta in 1988
In 1989, after two more wins by KO, a fight with another former WBA heavyweight title-holder was made, against the hard-hitting James 'Bonecrusher' Smith. In the round 2, Ruddock was floored heavily by Smith but showed his heart by getting up, coming back in the round, and impressively knocking out Smith in round 7.
A title bout was made with undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, scheduled for November 1989 in Edmonton, Alberta. Tyson, claiming illness, cancelled and opted instead to fight James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo. Tyson would go on to lose in one of the biggest shocks in boxing history. Many  accused Tyson of avoiding Ruddock.

Ruddock vs Dokes

1990, Ruddock fought former heavyweight champion Michael Dokes. Ruddock went into the fight as underdog but put on one of the best performances of his career knocking out Dokes in the 4th round. Dokes appeared to be seriously stunned on the ropes after taking Ruddock's famous 'Smash' left hook. A right hand followed, which appeared to put Dokes out cold but Ruddock threw another two hooks and Dokes was knocked out cold for minutes.

Difficulty finding opponents

After another KO win over Kimmuel Odum in 1990, Ruddock had difficulty finding a marquee opponent. Ruddock hoped to fight Evander Holyfield (fresh from a KO win over James 'Buster' Douglas for the heavyweight championship). Instead, Holyfield opted to fight 42-year-old George Foreman.

Mike Tyson

With no big name opponent, Ruddock took a warm up fight against Mike Rouse in December 1990 winning by 1st round knockout. The boxing world was calling for Holyfield, Bowe and Tyson to fight Ruddock and prove who was the best heavyweight. Ruddock would finally get his big fight in 1991 after it was announced in January that Ruddock would fight Mike Tyson in March after Tyson accepted Ruddock's challenge. Both fighters were praised in the boxing world for making the fight happen and it was seen by many as the fight between the two best heavyweights in the world as Evander Holyfield was still lightly regarded as champion. It would pit Tyson the number #1 contender against Ruddock who was number #2 for the right to fight the winner of Holyfield-Foreman.

Tyson vs Ruddock

Tyson-Ruddock happened on March 18, 1991. The fight received much attention and at the time was one of the biggest pay-per-view fights to date. The fight was brutal with Tyson scoring a knockdown in round 2 and then knocking Ruddock down toward the end of round 3. The fight went back and forth with Ruddock showing incredible heart and determination. Ruddock had his big moment in round 6 after connecting with some big shots and an uppercut that stunned Tyson before the bell sounded. Tyson started Round 7 charging at Ruddock and catching him with numerous big shots. Referee Richard Steele controversially stopped the fight even though it appeared Ruddock, although staggering, was healthy enough to continue. The premature stoppage caused tempers to boil over with people angry at the decision. Fighting broke out between both camps in the ring. Steele had to be escorted out of the ring after the angry protests. The only people who seemed calm through it all were the two fighters who both praised each other after the fight with Tyson saying "He punches like a fucking mule kick", stating it was the hardest he'd ever been hit, something he still says to this day.

Tyson vs Ruddock II

After such a controversial first meeting, a rematch was called for. The second Tyson-Ruddock fight took place on June 28, 1991.
The rematch went the distance, a full 12 rounds. Tyson knocked Ruddock down twice during the bout, and won by unanimous decision. The severity of the struggle was evident on both fighters after the fight: Ruddock had a broken jaw and Tyson suffered a perforated eardrum. Sports Illustrated reported that Ruddock's jaw may have been broken as early as the fourth round. Tyson was magnanimous after his triumph, praising Ruddock as a great heavyweight: 'Man this guy is tough, he'll be champion of the world one day if he stays dedicated and doesn't slip up'.

After Tyson

After losing to Tyson for the second time, Ruddock picked up victories over former heavyweight champion Greg Page and got an impressive win over undefeated hope Phil Jackson, both fights again were won by KO. Those victories set up a bout with Lennox Lewis in London on Halloween 1992. The bout was an official WBC Final Eliminator and seen as an elimination bout for the opportunity to face the winner of the upcoming Bowe - Holyfield match. Ruddock was knocked out in the second round.
After more than two years out after the Lewis defeat Ruddock came back in 1994 with a points win over Anthony Wade which led to a fight with Tommy Morrison in 1995. In the first round he put Morrison down, but let the opportunity for an early stoppage slip, and was given a count himself in the second round after grabbing the ropes after being caught by a Morrison uppercut. Again, like the first Tyson fight, Ruddock was controversially stopped on his feet in the 6th round.


After the loss to Morrison, Ruddock disappeared for 3 years until he returned once again in 1998. Ruddock was scheduled to challenge Vitali Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title in April 2000, yet was forced to withdraw at late notice due to injury. After building up a winning streak against journeymen opponents, Ruddock won the Canadian heavyweight title for a second time with a tenth round win over Egerton Marcus in October 2001, then retired with a record of 38 wins (28 KOs), 5 losses and 1 draw.


When asked about his boxing career he stated that his fights with Tyson took everything out of him, and believed they also finished Tyson, insisting both he and Tyson were never the same after those fights.
Ruddock was ranked 70th on Ring Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Punchers Of All-Time.

                                     Life After Boxing

In the late 1990s Ruddock had filed for bankruptcy as a number of failed investments, including $1 million that he lost when his Fort Lauderdale nightclub "Razor's Palace" went under; had left him cash poor. A contract dispute ruined a close relationship with his brother and former manager, Delroy.

In 2006 Ruddock invented a non-electrical garbage compacter called The Boxer which he hoped would become a success. Ruddock marketed the device he designed one day after becoming increasingly frustrated with the amount of waste his family was creating, and sold it from his website As of January 2010, the site is no longer up and running, but Amazon continues to list The Boxer.