TORONTO — Canadian heavyweight champion Dillon (Big Country) Carman knocked out 51-year-old Donovan (Razor) Ruddock in the third round Friday night.
The 29-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., making his first title defence, floored Ruddock in the corner with two rights to the head and then clubbed the former world contender to the canvas again after the standing-eight count.
The first round was slow and plodding with Ruddock (40-6-1) seemingly looking for one punch to finish it while the six-foot-five 234-pound Carman looked to bang the body. Carman (9-2) found his range at the end of the second, giving his opponent an approving nod as the round ended.
The fight was called at 2:05 of the third after the six-foot-three 242-pound Ruddock was sent backwards to the canvas, his head snapping back.
It was the first loss after two wins this year for Ruddock, who had previously been inactive since 2001 when he stopped Egerton Marcus in the 10th round to claim the vacant Canadian heavyweight title.
“I didn’t lose it. I just left it,” he said of the championship in a 2012 interview.
Ruddock went 19 rounds in two losses to Mike Tyson in 1991. He also lost a 1992 bout with Lennox Lewis, who was a co-promoter of Friday’s card.
The Ricoh Coliseum fight was on the undercard of the WBC light-heavyweight title matchup between champion Adonis (Superman) Stevenson of Montreal and American Tommy (Kryptonite) Karpency, the No. 9 contender.
The matchup was billed as the first world boxing title fight in Toronto in more than 30 years — Hall of Famer Aaron (The Hawk) Pryor beat local favourite Nicky Furlano for the IBF welterweight title at Varsity Stadium in June 1984.
In other undercard action, heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko, from Toronto via Ukraine, dispatched Hungary’s Sandor Balogh (6-3) by a lopsided second-round TKO to win his pro debut.
Toronto featherweight Sandy (Lil Tyson) Tsagouris (13-2) won a spirited eight-round scrap with Australia’s (Shotgun) Shannon O’Connell (11-4) via unanimous decision (77-73, 78-72, 78-72).
Yvon Michel, Montreal’s top promoter, joined forces with Global Legacy Boxing, headed by Lewis and Toronto promoter Les Woods, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to put on the Toronto card.
It aired on U.S. TV as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series, which is covering 75 to 80 per cent of the show’s costs. The eight-fight card was available in Canada on pay-per-view.
Michel hopes to stage three or four fights a year in Toronto.
The aging home of the Toronto Marlies was home to a pipe band during one part of the evening. VIP tables were set up at both ends of the rink.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press