March 18, 1991
Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Referee: Richard Steele
Scoring Thru 6:
All scores were 59-53 for Tyson
Weights: Tyson 217 lbs, Ruddock 238 lbs
Ages: Tyson 24, Ruddock 27
Tyson vs Ruddock I Facts & Stats
- Mike Tyson (39-1) vs Razor Ruddock (25-1-1)
- Tyson and Ruddock were widely viewed at the No. 1 and No. 2 heavyweights, respectively, as Evander Holyfield was still lightly regarded as champion.
- The winner of Tyson vs Ruddock 1 would be in-line to fight the winner of the heavyweight championship bout between Evander Holyfield and George Foreman
- Donovan "Razor" Ruddock was a highly ranked heavyweight contender in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was known for his powerful left hook/uppercut hybrid, which he called "The Smash."
- The fight was brutal with Tyson scoring a knockdown in round 2 and then knocking Ruddock down toward the end of round 3
- Ruddock had his big moment in round 6 after connecting with some big shots and an uppercut that stunned Tyson before the bell sounded.
- Referee Richard Steele controversially stopped the bout after Ruddock was rocked by a Tyson combination. However, despite being staggered, Ruddock had not gone down and seemed clear-headed.
- Steele had to be escorted out of the ring for fear he'd be attacked by violent protestors; He would later receive death threats for his actions.
- The premature stoppage of Tyson vs Ruddock 1 caused tempers to flare with people angry at the decision; A ring riot broke out between both fighters' camps after the bout
- In the post fight interview, Mike Tyson stated of Ruddock," He punches like a f**king mule kick."
- After the controversial ending, a rematch was called for. The second Tyson-Ruddock fight took place on June 28, 1991.