February 25, 2000
Berlin - February 25, 2000. An explosive night is guaranteed when German based Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBO heavyweight world title against Canadian Donovan Ruddock. The two power punchers will clash on April 1st at Estrel Convention Center in Berlin.
It will be the third defense for Klitschko who captured the WBO title in June of last year with a stunning second round knockout of reigning champion Herbie Hide. The 6-foot-8 giant went on to defend the title twice, stopping undefeated Ed Mahone in three rounds in October and punishing Obed Sullivan in December until the tough man from Gulfport quit after round nine.
The undefeated Vitali Klitschko won all his 27 professional fights by knockout.
Donovan "Razor" Ruddock has been waiting for this chance almost forever. The fight against Klitschko will be Ruddock's first world title shot even though the Canadian is a professional boxer since 18 years and a top contender since more than ten years.
In the early 90's Ruddock was considered the most dangerous heavyweight beside Mike Tyson after the Jamaican born fighter knocked out the former world champions Michael Dokes and James Smith. During two wars against Tyson in 1991 Ruddock was stopped controversially in the first fight and lost the second one by a twelve round decision. After two subsequent wins over top rated opponents Ruddock seemed to be in position for a world title fight. However, he lost a world title eliminator against Lennox Lewis in 1992 and suffered another defeat by the hands of Tommy Morrison in 1995.
Ruddock took three years off and returned to boxing in 1998. Since starting his comeback the Canadian won eight consecutive fights by knockout. His record now stands at 36-5-1 (28 KOs).
"I'm happy my next opponent has a big name", champion Vitali Klitschko commented. "Now boxing fans in the US will realize how good I am. I know I shouldn't underestimate Ruddock. He is experienced and has a big punch. But so do I."
The fight will be televised in the US and in Germany (SAT.1 live at 22:20 CET).