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Controversial Stoppage: Revisiting Mike Tyson vs. Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock I

Revisiting Mike Tyson's Battle with James Tillis in Glens Falls, NY

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Controversial Stoppage: Revisiting Mike Tyson vs. Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock I


Controversial Stoppage: Revisiting Mike Tyson vs. Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock I

On March 18, 1991, Mike Tyson and Donovan Ruddock met at the Mirage in Paradise, Nevada, USA, in a twelve-round eliminator bout for Evander Holyfield‘s undisputed crown. Tyson ultimately won the fight by seventh-round TKO – but the stoppage was deemed controversial, with a melee ensuing after the referee had halted the contest. 

Revisiting Mike Tyson-Donovan Ruddock I

Recap of Mike Tyson vs. ‘Razor’ Ruddock I

“Iron Mike” and “Razor” had been due to face each other at the end of 1989 for Tyson’s undisputed world championship. The bout – was postponed due to Tyson picking up an injury – with “Iron Mike” then losing his undisputed title to James “Buster” Douglas in the most shocking upset on February 11, 1990. Following the sensational defeat to Douglas, Tyson fought twice more in 1990, defeating Henry Tillman and Alex Stewart. After the win over Stewart, it was announced his next opponent would be “Razor.”

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The fight is known for its controversial ending, but there were plenty of talking points early in the contest, with both exchanging heavy shots. During round two, Tyson threw a left hook, which struck Ruddock on the shoulder, causing him to trip over Tyson’s foot. The referee awarded the knockdown, which angered “Razor” and his corner. Their annoyance was only magnified – when Tyson threw an illegal right hand while being separated and was not deducted a point by the referee.

Read More: Magnitude Of Mike Tyson: Five Iconic Fights That Defined An Era

Tyson inflicted another knockdown in round three with a beautifully timed left hook, sending Ruddock to the canvas. Both men hit each other with big shots, but Tyson had the edge in the telling moments. Ruddock had moments of success, but his shots weren’t clean enough, and Tyson took them and continued to walk him down.

Controversial Ending

Towards the end of round seven came the defining moment as Tyson hit Ruddock with an impressive combination, which rocked “Razor,” who remained standing. Referee Richard Steele stepped in immediately and waved the fight off, awarding “Iron Mike” the win by TKO. Parties from the corner of Ruddock entered the ring to confront the referee, with a melee quickly ensuing, which required security to intervene. It wasn’t vintage Tyson, but he came alive at just the right moments to get the victory.

Take a trip down memory lane with us to revisit Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno I.

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Freelance Writer and Digital Marketer, spending most of his time waiting for the Tyson Fury vs Usyk announcement. Also watches YouTube videos of Lennox Lewis fights on a daily basis.

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