Exclusive from Michael Shepherd – As I write this on June 10th 2018 it is 13 years since Tommy “The Duke” Morrison (44-2-1, 38 KOs) stepped into the ring to face Donovan “Razor” Ruddock Ruddock (28-4-1, 20 KOs) (Video Below).
The fight is an underrated classical gem. The action took place from the Municipal Auditorium, in Kansas City Missouri. For Morrison, who for many years lived in Kansas City and called it home, he was fighting on his home turf. Ruddock had gotten the attention of the boxing world with big KO performances over Michael Dokes and James “Bonecrusher” Smith. However, he was best known for his two wars, albeit in losing efforts, to Mike Tyson. Morrison also had his share of success. He had wins against name opponents including winning the WBO crown by beating George Foreman. He was also well known, perhaps even “mainstream”, after starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky V
Morrison earned a TKO victory a 2:55 of the sixth round. An exhausted Morrison nearly collapsed in his corner with his team cheering triumphantly.
Morrison’s win secured an October showdown against champion Lennox Lewis, a fight in which he was woefully beaten and took a ruthless pounding from Lewis. That would be Morrison’s last big fight. Soon thereafter, Morrison tested positive for HIV and retired from the sport.
I spoke to Trey Lippe Morrison the heavyweight prospect outlined his own plans and reflects on the legacy of his father.
Trey was born eight days after his dad, Tommy Morrison, won his 17th fight in 1989. But it wasn’t until he got older he became aware of his father’s celebrity status.
“To be honest when I was younger I had no clue what was going on. While he was famous I was really young, all I cared about was playing with friends and action figures. It wasn’t until I got older I understood what went on. But I was raised by my mother Cristi Lippe (rader at the time). My childhood was pretty normal honestly but I always still get asked questions about him and what it was like to have him as a dad”.
The boxing dreams harboured by Morrison were only recently conceived with his longtime ambition was to play in the NFL
“Since I was a kid my dream was to be in the NFL. Football was my sport. When I was in college my senior year I ended up getting kicked off the football team. Being a dumb college kid, totally my fault. I didn’t know how to get back into football. So my dream of wanting to be in the NFL transitioned to wanting to be a professional athlete”
“A couple of months after my father passed away on September 1, 2013, I went to talk to his promoter Tony Holden who worked in a town just 20 minutes from my hometown. I went to talk to him about my dad to just hear some good memories and stories of him and have a good time enjoying that. At the end of the night I popped the question and asked him to help me get into boxing. He said, “No, boxing is in the toilet and you’re just too far out to get into it”. I said “well I’m doing it anyway with or without you”. I left after our discussion and I had a good time with Tony. I had to be an athlete, that’s what God made me to be. three days later Tony called me up and said “Ok, let’s do this. I’ll help you”. two months later I had my first professional fight on February 15, 2014 and that’s how it all started”.
Lippe-Morrison spent the last several months training in Annapolis, Maryland, with Tom Virgets. But Virgets will soon be heading overseas, as he is set to take over as the International Boxing Association’s executive director.
“Right now for my fight on June 30th, I’m being trained by Craig Blacklock here in Tulsa. He has been my Cutman for every one of my fights”
I asked Trey what he thought of the current heavyweight scene
“They are all freaking Giants! When did NBA players start becoming boxers haha. But for real they are all so tall and very talented. I think they are all great and exciting fighters”
The prodigy looks like he can fight and has dealt with each opponent with quality.
“Take everything a step at a time, continue to learn from the best and as fast as I can and continue to be a workhorse. I have a lot to learn still, I know that. Being a hard worker is my best asset. I leave everything to God. He’s got my back. When my self, my team, and God think I’m ready, big things will happen and we will take it a fight at a time. Gods got this, he has control. My job is to be the best I can be and God will take care of the rest”.
“I know my dad is up there smiling down happy that I’m trying to be just like him”
Trey next fight will be June 30th at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City