John Duddy's Manager - "If John Beats Ronald Hearns The Title Fight With Verno Phillips Is Back On!"

by James Slater - Originally, unbeaten crowd pleasing middleweight/light-middleweight John Duddy was to challenge IBF 154 pound champion Verno Phillips in November in Belfast. However, due to this fight being (temporarily) scrapped due to a failure to obtain a suitable T.V date, Irish man Duddy will now face an opponent TBA in November, in New York, before facing fellow unbeaten light-middleweight wannabe Ronald Hearns some time early next year. This is what Duddy's manager Eddie McLoughlin has been telling The Irish Independent..

And if Duddy can get past the son of the legendary Thomas Hearns, which will be no easy task for the easy-to-hit, yet full-of-heart Irish man, the shot at veteran Phillips and his IBF belt would likely take place next April.

"The reason it [the November 2008 date with Verno Phillips] collapsed is that the T.V networks have all their schedules worked out in advance and they couldn't fit in our fight in time," McLoughlin said. "But John will get his chance, most likely in the new year, probably in April. If John beats Hearns, and I'm confident he will, then the world title fight is on. A win over such an established contender would certainly boost John's ratings."

While a win over "The Chosen One" would indeed be a good result for Duddy, Hearns is no "established contender" anymore than Duddy is - yet. Chances are both men will meet, though, and such a fight would likely be an exciting one. Duddy has to get past his November 6th New York opponent and Hearns must defeat Canadian Paul Clavette on the under-card of the Lucian Bute-Librado Andrade fight on October 18th. Should both men emerge victorious, their very interesting showdown would then take place. Who will win?

Hearns has looked a very good, smooth boxer so far in his career, while Duddy has been more of a slugfest kind of warrior. Marked up astonishingly badly in his fight with Walid Smichet back in February, the 29-year-old saw a title shot against middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik go out the window. Will the gutsy Irish man with the leaky defence suffer the same fate against Hearns? Presumably, should Ronald beat Duddy when they meet, it would be he who lands the fight with Phillips. I for one do see Hearns defeating Duddy.

Unless he's vastly improved his head movement and ability to slip a punch, Duddy would, in my opinion, get hit all night by the fast and rangy Hearns. When the two unbeaten prospects do meet there will be a lot on the line and this should bring out the best in both men. It won't be an easy fight for the also 29-year-old Hearns, but I definitely see him winning - even if Duddy's new trainer Pat Burns is convinced Duddy will be a much better fighter down at 154 pounds, having boxed primarily as a middleweight thus far.

But whoever wins, 38-year-old Verno Phillips - who revived his career at top level with his March points win over Cory Spinks to capture the IBF belt - will be waiting!

Article posted on 24.09.2008

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