Mike Tyson predicts a good time for everybody at his fight tonight at the Mirage.
Well, not everybody."Come, because you will have a good time," said Tyson, who will fight Donovan "Razor" Ruddock. "I'm going to enjoy it very much."
Enjoyment for Tyson would mean pain for Ruddock.
No title is a stake, as it would have been if Tyson had not pulled out of a scheduled Nov. 18, 1989, fight against Ruddock because of illness.
The match, however, is important in that the winner will be in line for a title shot against the winner of the fight between heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and George Foreman April 19 at Atlantic City, N.J.
Holyfield won the title from James "Buster" Douglas, who upset Tyson with a 10th-round knockout Feb. 11, 1990. Douglas got his chance after the Tyson-Ruddock match was called off.
There will be two title fights on the undercard featuring welterweight champions Simon Brown and Maurice Blocker, against each other, and junior welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez. Also fighting will be Roberto Duran.
Both Tyson and Ruddock are predicting knockout victories, and most people in boxing figure the fight will end inside the 12-round limit.
Some boxing observers feel that the 6-foot-3 Ruddock has the physical tools and style to beat the 5-111/2 Tyson. Ruddock's power punches go up, and that's the best way to punch against a shorter opponent who fights out of semi-crouch.
"For some outrageous reason he thinks I'm scared of him," Tyson said.
The question, however, seems to be whether Ruddock has the mental toughness to withstand Tyson's intimidating assaults.
"I don't care what he's got. He's going to have to use it all," Tyson said.
Ruddock's all won't be enough in the opinion of the most. Tyson was a 5-1 favorite.
Ruddock's decision to stop sparring March 8 probably has affected the betting. The decision led to speculation, scoffed at by Ruddock, that something was wrong with his right hand. He suffered a hairline fracture before he knocked out Michael Dokes in the fourth round on April 4, 1990.
The 27-year-old Ruddock said he stopped sparring 17 days before the Dokes fight.
Tyson, 24, weighed in officially at 217 pounds Sunday. Ruddock weighed 228.
Ruddock, who quit boxing for 10 months in 1985-86 because of asthma, is ranked second behind Tyson by the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation. Since being shunned by Tyson, Ruddock has scored three straight knockouts to make his record 25-1-1 with 18 knockouts.
Tyson has fought twice since the upset loss, scoring first-round knockouts of Henry Tillman and Alex Stewart. He has a 39-1 record with 35 knockouts.
The welterweight title fight between Brown and Blocker will be a battle of best friends. Brown holds the IBF 147-pound title, while Blocker is recognized as champion by the WBC.