History's most disgraceful fighter?? For disgracing the game IN the ring, which I think should be the critereon - there is NO ONE who did this more often or more consistently than the serial cheater named JOHN RUIZ!
From his unjust rise in the rankings as a result of his connections with a powerful promoter, this glorified New England clubfighter used those connections to get away with illegal tactics in virtually every fight, to win matches he would never have otherwise "won" against world class fighters, because he didn't have the ability to compete with such fighters.
This undermined the legitimacy of the game in ways that the occasional illegal tactic used by other more talented fighters to supplement their legitimate boxing skills never could - because it led to a fighter holding a title entirely based on violating the basic rules of the game.
Essentially, Ruiz's offenses fall into three categories:
: this was used by Ruiz in virtually every fight after Don King manuevered him into the ratings. Unlike other fighters with actual boxing ability, Ruiz didn't just use holding as an occasional supplement to legitimate boxing - because he no legitimate boxing ability - he used it to make up for the lack of them.
: strictly speaking, this wasn't Ruiz's doing, but King's - but Ruiz benefitted from King's influence in getting favorable decisions in fights he clearly didn't deserve the nod. The most egregious examples of this occurred in the third Holyfield fight and the Golota fight.
Faking "Low Blows
:" this is easily Ruiz's most disgusting offense against the sport - the shameful overacting when hit with shots anywhere near his trunks was a tactic Ruiz employed in at least three fights, against Jimmy Thunder, Evander Holyfield in their second fight, and repeatedly against Kirk Johnson to force a bogus DQ. In the Thunder fight it helped get him a split decision, and against Holyfield, it enabled him avoid being counted out when knocked down by a body shot.
For the sheer blatantcy and repeated violations of good sportsmanship, there is no fighter who has disgraced the sport through what he did INSIDE the ring more than John Ruiz. Without it, and the connections with King that made it possible, Ruiz would have been lucky to win the regional title belt, let alone a paper "world" title. Now THAT'S disgraceful.