Ruddock KOs Ribalta in First Round
VERONA, N.Y. (AP) _ On a night when he was the headliner but really an afterthought, Donovan ``Razor″ Ruddock continued his comeback Friday with a first-round knockout of Jose Ribalta.
Just minutes after Laila Ali had made her professional debut a rousing success _ a first-round knockout with her father, Muhammad Ali, watching from ringside at Turning Stone Casino _ Ruddock made short work of Ribalta in a heavyweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
The Jamaican-born Ruddock, who has won eight straight fights after a two-year layoff, began with an effective left jab while the 6-foot-5 Ribalta moved in low trying to work the body.
Ruddock caught Ribalta with a hard left to the head just over a minute into the first round, sending him to the canvas. Seconds later, after the woozy Ribalta struggled to his feet, Ruddock ended it with another hard left that sent Ribalta down and out at 1:40.
``I don’t have much to say because I thought it would go longer,″ said Ruddock, who lost twice to Mike Tyson. ``I fought with a lot of aggression. I was very calm. My defense was working well. I feel confident in what I can do.″
It was the 27th career knockout for the 34-year-old, 6-foot-3 Ruddock, 254, who improved to 36-5-1. Ribalta, 243, of Miami, who once was knocked out by Tyson in the 10th round before Tyson won the heavyweight title, fell to 39-17-1.