Middleweight contender John Duddy (26-1, 17 KOs) was at Gallagher’s Steak House in NYC today to talk about his off-TV ‘Island Warriors’ bout on October 10 and also about a showdown fight vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. which is being discussed at Top Rank. “I had a very big year but unfortunately I got slapped around in the ring a little bit,” said Duddy. “But I got married to my girlfriend of ten years. I didn’t have much of a honeymoon because work came calling pretty fast to get ready for October 10. By no means am I through – I’m 30 years old but there are many miles left in this engine.” Regarding Chavez Jr., Duddy’s old/new trainer Harry Keit stated, “Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. doesn’t even exist right now – that is just a name floating around.”
Duddy is penciled to face Michi Munoz in his October 10th comeback fight, and Keit doesn’t want Duddy looking past his next opponent or giving his opponent any further ammunition. “We don’t want to make Munoz a Buster Douglas. Everybody wants to be a Buster Douglas.”
Keit returns after training Duddy from January 9, 2004 (4th professional fight) thru May 18, 2007.
“I noticed that he was real tight,” said Keit, “he was fighting like he was in a straight-jacket. He wasn’t snapping his punches like I knew before he left. Right now we’re making John Duddy work and every time he spars he is looking better. He’s moving his head and snapping his punches – looking like the old John Duddy.”
“I told him he had to relax and stop feeling like he had to fight for his people. If you can’t accept a loss, you cannot win.
“If people out there think John Duddy is done…let them not rain. John was like an old building when he came to me. When you get an old building you need to bring it back, refurbish it. John Duddy needed some restructuring. It couldn’t have been that bad because he was still winning.”
Duddy commented on his recent trainer change. “I had a great relationship with Pat (Burns) but I felt like a visitor traveling around when I went to different cities to train. I wanted to stay and settle in New York. I want to thank him for the knowledge he gave me. Harry works me hard which is what I like and what I am used to.
“I have proved that I can be a better boxer with both hands. When I’m in the ring I have to make a decision on when to box and when to fight and I think I’ve learned that. I like to throw and left hook and put on a good show. I have to focus on what I’m good at. The focus is to train and be the best I can be.
He concluded, “Whether I fight in the US and back home in Ireland, I will go where it takes me to become world champion. But there is no place better to do it than at Madison Square Garden in New York.”
Duddy, (26-1, 17 KOs) of Derry, Northern Ireland, returns to The Garden, where he has never lost, for the eighth time in his professional career, the most recent in February where he won a 10-round unanimous decision over Matt Vanda. A former WBC Continental Americas middleweight champion, with victories over former world champion Yory Boy Campas and world title challenger Howard Eastman, Duddy returns to the ring for the first time since suffering a split decision loss to Billy Lyell in April. He is currently world-rated No. 10 by the WBO.