Lennox Lewis KOs Razor Ruddock This Day October 31, 1992 and Retains his British Title
- Lennox Lewis 227 lbs
- Donovan Ruddock 231½ lbs
- TKO at 0:46 in round 2 of 12
- Location: Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
- Referee: Joe Cortez
- Judge: Chuck Hassett
- Judge: Franz Marti
- Judge: Tom Kaczmarek
- Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title (1st defense by Lewis)
- WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator
Ruddock was ranked #1 by the WBC, and Lewis was ranked #2.
Ruddock was a 2-1 favorite.
A right cross knocked Ruddock down with ten seconds left in the first round. Lewis put Ruddock down twice more early in the second, and the referee stopped the fight.
Before Riddick Bowe defeated Evander Holyfield to win the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship on November 13, 1992, he signed an agreement with the WBC to make his first title defense—if he should defeat Holyfield—against the winner of the title eliminator between Lewis and Ruddock. The WBC gave Bowe and Lewis until December 13 to reach an agreement or the fight would go to a purse bid. If Bowe refused to meet Lewis, the WBC title would be awarded to Lewis.
Rock Newman, Bowe’s manager, made two offers to Lewis. The first would have guaranteed Lewis $3 million, while giving Bowe 90% of the purse and Lewis 10%. The second offer was for Lewis to refuse the WBC title, have an interim fight in the United States for $2.5 million, and then fight Bowe for $9 million or a percentage to be negotiated. Frank Maloney, the manager of Lewis, rejected both offers and countered with his own proposal: a 75-25 percent split of the purse. If the gross after a Bowe-Lewis fight was the same as for Bowe-Holyfield, $25.5 million, Maloney said Bowe would earn $17 million and Lewis $5.5 million. Newman turned it down. Maloney later had a change of heart and agreed to the first offer, but Newman told him he was too late. Newman said a deal for Bowe to defend the title against an opponent other than Lewis was imminent.
On December 14, 1992, Riddick Bowe held a news conference and dumped his WBC title into a garbage can. “If Lewis wants the belt, he has to get it out of the garbage,” Bowe said. The WBC then declared Lennox Lewis the new WBC heavyweight champion.
Lewis was the first British-born boxer to win a world heavyweight title since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897.