DONOVAN RUDDOCK shocked everyone by returning to the ring back in March at the age of 51 – some 14-years after his last fight. But, despite the negativity, “Razor” pulled off a stoppage win over 6’7” giant Raymond Olubowale.
Ruddock could certainly have picked a far easier, or “softer” comeback opponent, yet the fact that he didn’t, Ruddock insists, shows he is “for real” in his quest to reclaim past glories.
Set to return to action less than two months on from the initial comeback fight – against 37-year-old slugger Eric Barrak, 8-2(7) on May 22nd – Ruddock says he wants to build up momentum.
Q: You told me after the first comeback win you had, back in March, that you would fight again in June. Instead, you are set to box again less than two months after the first fight back?
Donovan Ruddock: “Yes, I want to keep busy. I want to keep the machine tuned.”
Q: How much do you know about Eric Barrak? He can punch.
D.R: “Everybody can punch. Every heavyweight can punch.”
Q: Have you seen much of Barrak on tape?
D.R: “I’ve seen a couple of his fights. Myself, I will be stronger this time, and sharper. I expect to improve in each fight.”
Q: And is it still your plan to go for the Canadian title at some point?
D.R: “Yeah, I will be doing that in the next fight. I’m working on getting that fight now. But it needs some massaging, getting that fight done.”
Q: How was the reception you had after the first comeback fight, which of course took place after 14 years out of the ring. How have the fans and the media taken it?
D.R: “They were very shocked I think (laughs). They were not expecting me to be successful after 14 years; they weren’t expecting me to look so good. And that was after the first one, can you imagine how much better I’ll be after the second and the third fight!”
Q: How long after the March 28 TKO win over Raymond Olubowale were you back in the gym?
D.R: “I was back in the gym the next week. That’s the thing, back in the earlier days, I wasn’t consistent in training. I would train for a fight, have the fight, and then go and do some shit before the next one. Now, I keep the body tuned as I wait for the next fight.”
Q: As I said to you last time, you definitely could have picked an easier opponent for your first fight back. And you are now going in with a dangerous puncher.
D.R: “That’s because I’m not pretending, As I’ve said to you. I need to know now.”
Q: You need to know what now, that you can or cannot do it anymore?
D.R: “Yeah, I need to know now not later. I need to know that I can do this. I believe in myself and I do know I can do it. I mean, if I can’t beat these type of guys [the Olubowales and the Barraks] how can I go for the world title?”
Q: Have you had much media attention in Canada? The Olubowale fight has already had over 20,000 hits on You-Tube, which shows people are definitely interested.
D.R: “They are waiting and seeing, really. I can tell. They’re really not sure yet. But I don’t mind that, I really don’t.”
Q: You feel there is no pressure on you, as most people do not think you can make it back, therefore nobody expects too much?
D.R: “I have no pressure, I grew past that. In the earlier days I had pressure on me but not now. But you know what I did in March, the fight I had, you can’t pretend that – do you understand me? It‘s for real in the ring and you cannot pretend. I truly feel I will shock the world. You know, we all have individual DNA. So to judge me to someone else, to everyone else, is just a stupidity. You cannot do that. And you can’t let people tell you what to do.”
Q: And you said you feel stronger and in better physical shape today, due in part to your diet and training regimen?
D.R: “Yes. I ran 10K this morning – I do this twice a week. And I sparred seven rounds with two different guys. The running is why my legs are so strong. Like I’ve said all along, I’m not trying to fool or con anyone. Certainly not the fans.”