John Duddy continues winning streak

john duddy19.03.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani @ Ringside -- click here for photo gallery --
Undefeated middleweight John Duddy continued his winning ways Friday night when he won a technical decision against Anthony Bonsante. An accidental clash of heads in round two caused a very bad cut near Bonsanteís scalp which increasingly bled with each passing round until the fight was halted before the tenth round. As a result, the fight went to the scorecards where all three judges had Duddy winning, 90-81, 89-82, and 88-83.

I scored the bout 89-82 in favor of Duddy, and although he was the clear-cut winner, this fight appeared to be more difficult for him than most anticipated. Duddy is your typical offensive-minded fighter. He likes throwing punches in bunches and he does so with mean intentions. He likes getting his punches off first, is willing to take a few punches to get one in of his own, and is capable of throwing punches from a wide variety of angles. Offense is clearly his forte.

Defense, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. To be fair, itís not as if Duddy abandons the concept altogether but itís certainly not his top priority. Simply put, Duddy eats a lot of punches. Worse yet, he seemed to get caught flush an awful lot on Friday night. There were several occasions when Duddy was unexpectedly nailed by a Bonsante haymaker. To his credit, he was taking the punches well despite being momentarily stopped in his tracks after initial impact.

Whenever Duddy did get caught flush he would respond almost immediately. In many ways, he reminded me of an Irish version of a young Erik Morales. If you land a solid shot against Duddy, one must be prepared for the inevitable return-fire. Oftentimes, Duddy would punish Bonsante for daring to land anything solid. Of course, this usually didnít bode well for Bonsanteís cut, which was clearly obstructing his vision more and more as the bout progressed.

Duddyís offensive-mindedness and warrior-like mentality make for a very exciting fighter. The Madison Square Garden Theatre, which was not surprisingly filled with a pro-Irish crowd, erupted in excitement whenever Duddy landed a punch. Likewise, they collectively gasped whenever he got hit. Duddy literally had the crowd on their edge of their seats from the opening bell until the aftermath of the verdict. The bond between a fighter and his fans, often defined by nationalism, is one the most compelling between a fan and participant in all of sports. Some fans live and die with the fighters they cheer for, and John Duddy personifies such a fighter

This victory paves the way for a potential showdown against fellow undefeated middleweight, Giovanni Lorenzo. Lorenzo was featured on the under card Friday night, and was impressive in victory, stopping overmatched Robert Kamya in the third round. A fight between against Lorenzo should give us a better idea of where Duddy stands amongst middleweight contenders. A victory over Lorenzo should bring Duddy one step closer to a title fight against middleweight champion, Jermain Taylor.

Given that Duddy is an exciting, young, marketable fighter, it seems almost inevitable that he will eventually get a crack at Taylor. In fact, I think this fight might be closer than most think. Unfortunately for Duddy, I think heís rapidly approaching his talent ceiling; Iím not sure heíll ever be good enough to compete on the level of Taylor. Time will tell.

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Article posted on 19.03.2007

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