THE best night of my boxing career, I’d definitely have to say it was when I arrived on the big stage, when I showed the world what I can do. I fought a great former world champion in Michael Dokes and not too many people were giving me much of a chance going into the fight. I was the underdog, no question.
People thought he’d be too crafty and too knowledgeable for me, and Dokes had trained hard and was in great shape that night. At that time in my career, they all thought they’d beat me – until they actually got in the ring with me and felt my power and my speed. But that was the fight where I unleashed “The Smash” to the world for the very first time [Ruddock’s hybrid left hook/uppercut].
I had injured my right hand in training, but we kept it secret; there was too much at stake for me to risk postponing. I had broken a bone in my right hand and it was actually quite painful – so I mostly used the left hand that night against Dokes. I had actually trained on using the “Smash” in the gym anyway. I worked very hard for the Dokes fight and I wanted a special punch to get the win in a spectacular way.