Duddy Returns Against Matt Vanda On Feb. 21st - Could It Be Duddy Vs. Pavlik Later This Year?

by James Slater - The extremely popular John Duddy of Ireland gets back in the ring on the under-card of February 21st's Miguel Cotto-Michael Jennings clash at Madison Square Garden, New York. Taking on the man who gave Julio Cesar Chavez Junior such a tough fight last year, in Matt Vanda, 29-year-old Duddy will be boxing back up at middleweight..

After having found himself embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with his former promotional team Irish Ropes, the exciting warrior is once again looking ahead to a crack at the world middleweight title. In a news article that has appeared in The Irish Daily Star, victory over Vanda will very likely lead Duddy into a big fight with middleweight king Kelly Pavlik later this year - providing, of course, Marco Antonio Rubio does not upset "The Ghost" that same February night.

There was talk of a Duddy challenge of Pavlik last year, but the 29-year-old's chance was delayed due to his struggling and being badly cut in his win over the largely unknown Walid Smichet. Now, after having seen hopes of a WBO light-middleweight title fight against Verno Phillips go out of the window, Duddy is refocused on the huge punching Pavlik. But first he must deal with the tough Vanda - a fighter who has only ever been stopped once.

Vanda, known as "The Predator," is best known for his two light-middleweight fights with Chavez Junior, but he has fought up at middleweight on a number of occasions, and he has been in with some good fighters. He will be no pushover for the not-too-hard-to-hit Duddy. Beaten quite clearly last time out, in his November 2008 rematch with the son of the legendary Mexican great, 30-year-old Vanda, 39-8(22) will be hungry to prove his career at top level is not over with. Duddy, though, could be only a win away from a huge fight with the middleweight champion of the world.

Last fighting back in June of last year (out-pointing Charles Howe over ten rounds), Duddy will be entering the ring on Feb. 21st after having had his longest inactive spell as a pro. Will this affect his timing and sharpness? Of course it could, and also, Duddy could suffer more cuts. All this considered, however, the unbeaten slugger who lives in New York should be able to see his way to a win. He may well have to go the full route to do it, but look for Duddy to improve to 26-0(17) next month.

Article posted on 27.01.2009

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