Donovan Ruddock

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Donovan Ruddock
Nickname(s) Razor
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Reach 82 in (208 cm)
Nationality Canadian
Born (1963-12-21) December 21, 1963 (age 52)
St. Catherine, Jamaica
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 47
Wins 40
Wins by KO 30
Losses 6
Draws 1

Donovan "Razor" Ruddock (born December 21, 1963) is a Canadian professional boxer. A promising heavyweight of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ruddock earned his nickname of "Razor" 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[edit]

Early years[edit]

As an amateur, Ruddock had a win over Lennox Lewis.[1] 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[edit]

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.[2] 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[who?] accused Tyson of avoiding Ruddock.

Ruddock vs Dokes[edit]

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, but Ruddock threw another two hooks and Dokes was knocked out cold for minutes.

Difficulty finding opponents[edit]

After another KO win over Kimmuel Odum in 1990, Ruddock had difficulty finding a marquee opponent.[3] 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.[4]

Mike Tyson[edit]

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[who?] 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[who?] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[5] 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[edit]

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.[6] 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.

On March 28, 2015 Ruddock returned to the ring with a fifth round knockout win over Raymond Olubowale.[7]


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.[citation needed]

Ruddock was ranked 70th on Ring Magazine's list of "100 Greatest Punchers Of All-Time".[8]

Life after boxing[edit]

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.[9]

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,[10] and sold it from his website As of November 2013, the site is no longer online and the product is listed on Amazon as unavailable with no indication for future availability.[11]

Professional boxing record[edit]

40 Wins (30 KOs), 6 Losses (5 KOs), 1 Draw [12]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 40-6-1 Canada Dillon Carman KO 3 11/09/2015 Canada Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada For the Canadian heavyweight title.
Win 40-5-1 Canada Eric Barrak MD 6 22/05/2015 Canada Colisee Isabelle Brasseur, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Win 39-5-1 Canada Raymond Olubowale TKO 5 (6) 28/03/2015 Canada Hershey Center, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Ruddock on canvas as fourth round ended, came back to win at age 51.
Win 38-5-1 Canada Egerton Marcus TKO 10 (12) 12/10/2001 United States Civic Center, Niagara Falls, New York, United States Won vacant Canadian heavyweight title.
Win 37-5-1 United States Harold Sconiers SD 10 27/04/2001 United States Civic Center, Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Win 36-5-1 Cuba Jose Ribalta KO 1 (10) 08/10/1999 United States Turning Stone Casino, Verona, New York, United States
Win 35-5-1 Mexico Mike Sedillo TKO 8 (10) 20/07/1999 Canada Caesars Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Win 34-5-1 United States Derek Amos TKO 1 (10) 27/05/1999 United States Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, United States
Win 33-5-1 United States Anthony Willis TKO 6 (10) 19/02/1999 United States Turning Stone Casino, Verona, New York, United States
Win 32-5-1 United States Tony LaRosa TKO 3 (10) 21/01/1999 United States Marksville, Louisiana, United States Stopped on cuts.
Win 31-5-1 Puerto Rico Rodolfo Marin TKO 8 (10) 11/08/1998 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United States
Win 30-5-1 United States Tony Bradham KO 2 (10) 26/06/1998 United States DePaul Alumni Hall, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 29-5-1 United States Brian Yates TKO 4 (10) 16/04/1998 United States North Vernon, Indiana, United States
Loss 28-5-1 United States Tommy Morrison TKO 6 (12) 10/06/1995 United States Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri, United States Morrison down in the 1st round. Ruddock down in the 6th round.
Win 28-4-1 United States Anthony Wade UD 10 29/01/1994 United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 27-4-1 United Kingdom Lennox Lewis TKO 2 (12) 31/10/1992 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom For Commonwealth heavyweight title. WBC Final Eliminator.
Win 27-3-1 United States Phil Jackson KO 4 (12) 26/06/1992 United States CSU Convention Centre, Cleveland, Ohio, United States Won vacant IBC world heavyweight title.
Win 26-3-1 United States Greg Page TKO 8 (10) 15/02/1992 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Page out on his feet; ref stopped bout seconds after end of rd. 8.
Loss 25-3-1 United States Mike Tyson UD 12 28/06/1991 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Ruddock down in 2nd and 4th rounds. Tyson had one point deducted in the 4th, 9th, and 10th for fouls. Ruddock lost a point in the 8th for hitting after the bell.
Loss 25-2-1 United States Mike Tyson TKO 7 (12) 18/03/1991 United States Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Ruddock was knocked down in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
Win 25-1-1 United States Mike Rouse KO 1 (10) 08/12/1990 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 24-1-1 United States Kimmuel Odum KO 3 (10) 18/08/1990 United States Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 23-1-1 United States Michael Dokes TKO 4 (12) 04/04/1990 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Won WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title.
Win 22-1-1 United States James Smith KO 7 (10) 02/07/1989 United States Cumberland Co. Memorial Arena, Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Win 21-1-1 United States James Broad TKO 1 (10) 06/12/1988 Canada Halifax Metro Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 20-1-1 United States Reggie Gross TKO 2 (10) 27/06/1988 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 19-1-1 Canada Ken Lakusta KO 1 (12) 28/05/1988 Canada Saskatchewan Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Won vacant Canadian heavyweight title.
Win 18-1-1 United States Larry Alexander KO 2 (10) 26/04/1988 United States The Showplace, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Win 17-1-1 United States Eddie Richardson KO 4 (10) 24/11/1987 Canada The Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 16-1-1 United States Juan Quintana TKO 2 (10) 09/08/1987 United States State Theatre, Easton, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 15-1-1 Cuba Carlos Hernandez DQ 2 (10) 15/06/1987 United States Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 14-1-1 United States Robert Evans TKO 5 (10) 16/05/1987 United States State Theatre, Easton, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 13-1-1 United States Mike Weaver SD 10 23/08/1986 United States Cumberland County Auditorium, Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States
Win 12-1-1 United States Al Houck TKO 5 (10) 08/07/1986 Canada Halifax Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 11-1-1 United Kingdom John Westgarth KO 7 (8) 28/05/1986 United Kingdom Alexandra Pavilion, Muswell Hill, London, England, United Kingdom
Win 10-1-1 United States Carlton Jones KO 1 (6) 26/02/1986 Canada St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 9-1-1 United States David Jaco TKO 8 (10) 30/04/1985 Canada Dartmouth Sportsplex, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 9-0-1 United States Oscar Holman UD 8 20/10/1984 Canada Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 8-0-1 United States Ricardo Peterson UD 8 31/07/1984 Canada Dartmouth Sportsplex, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 7-0-1 Canada Cedric Parsons TKO 1 (6) 28/02/1984 Canada Dartmouth Sportsplex, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Win 6-0-1 Canada Conroy Nelson UD 10 25/09/1983 Canada C.N.E. Coliseum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Draw 5-0-1 United States Phil Brown SD 6 26/04/1983 Canada Paul Sauve Arena, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 5–0 United States Bill Hollis UD 6 08/04/1983 Canada St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 4–0 United States Al Williams KO 1 (6) 13/08/1982 Canada Welland Arena, Welland, Ontario, Canada
Win 3–0 United States Arthur Hall MD 4 01/06/1982 United States Tropicana Casino and Resort Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 2–0 United States Garland Tipton KO 2 (6) 24/04/1982 Canada Columbus Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 1–0 Canada Wes Rowe TKO 4 (6) 20/03/1982 Canada Columbus Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Professional debut.


Preceded by
Phil Jackson
IBC World Heavyweight champion
26 June 1992 - 1994 (vacated belt)
Succeeded by
Tim Puller


  1. ^ Nack, William (1993-02-01). "The Great Brit Hope". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  2. ^ Fernandez, Bernard (1991-01-27). "Rugged `Razor' Ruddock Aims For World Title". Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  3. ^ Starkman, Randy. 1990, August 17. Good foes hard to get for Razor, The Toronto Star, F5.
  4. ^ Starkman, Randy. 1990, October 31. Holyfield doesn't faze Razor: Toronto boxer unimpressed by third-round KO of Douglas, The Toronto Star, D8.
  5. ^ "Smash Dance". CNN. 1991-07-08. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  6. ^ J. Golden. "Lewis - Ruddock, Lennox's Big Gamble". Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  7. ^ "Razor Ruddock survives knockdown to win comeback at the age of 51", Boxing News, March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015
  8. ^ "The 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time!". 
  9. ^ "For Razor Ruddock, boxing's wounds won't heal". 
  10. ^ "Gelf Magazine Razor Ruddock, Inventor". 
  11. ^ " BOXER COMPACTOR: Appliances". 
  12. ^

External links[edit]