Ringside Report by Andreas Hale and Kurt Wolfheimer
Photography by Ed Mulholland
Critics of John Duddy have been begging for the Irishman to take a step up in competition. Fighting an unknown fighter named Billy Lyell (19-7, 3 KOs) with a mediocre record and limited skill certainly doesn’t help the case. But perhaps there was a reason Duddy’s team never stepped up his competition. Unfortunately for Duddy, the reason reared its ugly head in front of an estimated 2,500 mostly Irish fans at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ this past Friday night. “The Derry Destroyer” watched his world title hopes go up in smoke as the unheralded Billy Lyell and his coach Jack Loew (who also trains Kelly Pavlik) employed a picture perfect game plan to upend Duddy via split decision in a ten round matchup of middleweights. Two judges saw it in Lyell’s favor with scores of 98-92 and 97-93 while the third gave Duddy (26-1, 17 KOs) the nod with a score of 96-94. Hard punching Philladelphia junior middleweight “King” Gabriel Rosado (12-3, 7 KOs) scored the biggest victory in his professional career with a close ten round split decision victory over Kassim “The Dream” Ouma (26-6-1, 16 KOs) in the co-feature of the evening. Click here for the ringside report and photo gallery.