Duddy back in Ireland

WBO rated No. 2 contender John Duddy (21-0, 16 KOs) broke training camp in the Pocono Mountains this past weekend and arrived in Ireland for Saturday night’s fight in Dublin only to discover that his scheduled opponent, Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba, had withdrawn due to a detached retina. Alcoba has been replaced by 19-year-old Prince Arron (10-2) in the 10-round main event..

Duddy, who hails from Derry (N. Ireland) but now lives in Queens (New York City), last fought July 14, defeating Alessio Furlan by 10th round TKO in the popular Irishman’s first fight as a pro in Ireland.

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Ireland again,” Duddy said, “but I just love fighting whether it’s in Ireland, New York, Boston or anywhere. I going back to show them how much I’ve improved since my last fight.”

Despite two opponent changes, Duddy remained fully focused because he prepares to fight the man put in the ring with him, leaving everything else to members of Clan Duddy, primarily his promoter (Irish Ropes) and manager (Tony McLoughlin).

Duddy has head trainer Don Turner, who has handled 19 world champions, in his corner for his second straight fight, and they have been working together for the last six weeks. “Everything seems to be much smoother this camp,” Duddy explained. “We had two weeks together in North Carolina before going to the Poconos. In North Carolina, I enjoyed talking with Don and we got to know each other better. I like listening to a man of experience, absorbing his stories and getting valuable tips. The training, too, has been a wee different this time. Our first camp we only had four weeks together, three at camp and the last during fight week.”

“I went to camp several times and saw steady improvement by John under Don,” Irish Ropes president Eddie McLoughlin added. “John has a new strength-and-conditioning coach, the same guy who works with the Klitschkos, and there’s been improvement in that area, too. Fans are going to see a big improvement in John this Saturday.”

Duddy has heard talk about him fighting new world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, or top contenders such as former title-holder Jermain Taylor and Sergio Mora, but it hasn’t been a distraction for John. “I don’t read my press clippings or anybody else’s clips,” Duddy noted, “but I’ve heard rumors and been asked about my next few fights. I leave that up to my promoter and manager. It is nice to be mentioned as part of plans for world champions and top contenders, but I have my own plans, and the idea has always been to work towards a title fight.”

Duddy is rated among the top 11 in all four major boxing organizations – WBO #2, WBC #4, WBA #6 and IBF #11.

“John has to focus on this fight,” McLoughlin remarked, “but I always have to be ready and in motion for his next fight. I can’t afford to wait because we have to make a transition from one fight to the next one. We’re listening to all comers and have several good options.”

For more information about Irish Ropes or John Duddy go online to

Article posted on 14.10.2007

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