Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Yeah, Rudduck had frightening power. It's funny, during the Crusher fight the tators disregarded Razor's power compared to Smith's but it can't have been far behind if any. One wonders if they changed their mind later.
As fists of fury mentioned earlier Ruddock was a guy who developed his power after first becoming a somewhat established fighter.
The Smith fight and the Dokes fight were the fights that really put him up there as a frighteningly powerful fighter (esp. the Dokes KO of course).
In 1986 Ruddock had earned a ranking in some circles with a victory over Mike Weaver, but reports are that he played stick-and-run for 10 rounds to earn the decision. Weaver wasn't exactly the most durable fighter either, I'm guessing the Ruddock of a few years later would have relished a war with him, and would be aiming to go home early.
Through 1987 and 1988 Ruddock started to develop a bit more aggressive style. I think he scored a couple of devastating KOs over some okay journeymen (James Broad, maybe. Reggie Gross or Mike Rouse). The KO of Smith put him up there, and proved his heart too.
So going into the Smith fight, Ruddock was known to be improving as a confident and powerful puncher, but had not transformed himself fully into an earth-shattering monster. I've heard he was a bit safety concious and not much of a puncher in his early prospect days, so I guess that still hung over him.
Tyson-Ruddock was first scheduled for November 1989, this was before
Ruddock had beaten Dokes. Apparently the fight was cancelled because Tyson was partying hard, and when he and his trainers got down to viewing the tape of Ruddock it was decided that Tyson needed more time. What happened is that it was cancelled and was not rescheduled - an easier opponent (Buster Douglas) was scheduled for a couple of months later.
Ruddock's rep was really cemented with the Dokes win a couple of months after Tyson had lost the title, but it seems Tyson's team were a bit wary of putting an ill-prepared Tyson in with him before that .