Boxing


Furlan out to spoil Duddy’s Homecoming

The Italian Alessio Furlan is talking the talk ahead of his middleweight clash with John Duddy on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on July 14th. After 20 fights Stateside Duddy returns home for his first pro fight on Irish soil as he looks to press his claims for a shot at the European title..

Standing in the opposite corner will be Furlan a tough, seasoned pro who recently lasted into the 12th and final round with current European Champion, Sebastian Sylvester. The man known as “Il Guerriero” (The Warrior) believes he can spoil Duddy’s homecoming and upset his perfect record.

Speaking from his training camp in Italy the 30-year-old said, “I have great respect for John Duddy but I will come with my own tactical plan to beat him. He is tough and not afraid of anyone so he’s just like me in that respect. I will be out to spoil his homecoming but I’ll buy Duddy a pint of Guinness afterwards to apologise for beating him!

The former Italian and IBF Mediterranean Champion believes he has seen some weakness in Duddy’s style that he intends to exploit. “I’ve seen Duddy’s fight with Yory Boy Campas and it was a real war. Those are the kind of fights that I love to be involved in.

“I don’t think Duddy is an especially big puncher, but he does wear his opponents down with an impressive work-rate. He has some boxing skills but he’s mainly a fighter and I see some flaws in his defence. I’m not underestimating him because he’s definitely a tough fighter.”

Duddy expects to have a huge travelling contingent from Derry at the National Stadium not to mention boxing fans who followed his amateur feats down through the years at that same venue. Furlan though is not worried at the thoughts of entering the lions den.

“I love fighting in front of big, passionate crowds and I’m sure that’s what will await me in Dublin. I travelled to Germany to take on the current European Champion Sebastian Sylvester and I loved every minute of that trip. I sure as hell plan on enjoying my trip to Dublin too.”

Furlan has a record of 19 wins, 8 losses and 5 draws from his 32 professional outings and has vast experience having campaigned in eight title fights.

Another undefeated Derryman on the card up against an experienced foe is Paul McCloskey. The Dungiven light welterweight will have his first 10 round contest on the card when he meets former European title challenger Laszlo Komjathi. The Hungarian is hugely experienced and represents the first big test of McCloskey’s career.

Komjathi is one of the few men to have taken red hot prospect Amir Khan the distance and in his last fight Komjathi gave the Ukrainian Andreas Kotelnik a tough night before losing on points. In Kotelnik’s previous outing he had drawn with Souleymane M'baye for the WBA light welterweight title so it shows just how risky an assignment this is for McCloskey.

Manager and trainer John Breen is convinced that McCloskey will pass his upcoming test with flying colours. “Paul fights to the level of his opponents so I expect to see the best of him at the National Stadium. I’ve said right from day one that Paul can go all the way in the sport and I think he’ll start proving that against Komjathi.”

In recent weeks McCloskey has been in Scotland sparring with Willie Limond ahead of his Commonwealth title defence against Amir Khan. The unbeaten light welterweight is also expected to spar with Alex Arthur over the coming weeks as the Edinburgh man prepares for his WBO world title shot.

Another of the Breen Team set for a stiff test at the National Stadium is Stephen Haughian. The unbeaten Lurgan man tackles Manchester based Irishman Gary O’ Connor in an 8 round light welterweight battle.

Breen’s interest doesn’t end there however with his super featherweight hope Kevin O’Hara also set for action. The Belfast man clashes with the teak tough Pole Dariusz Snarski over
8 rounds.

Dublin fight fans will be looking forward to seeing unbeaten super featherweight Patrick Hyland back in action so quickly, following on from his impressive first round stoppage win at the Point on the Bernard Dunne undercard last weekend.

Another unbeaten prospect in action is Huddersfield based Irishman Eugene Heagney. He takes on Belfast’s Colin Moffett over 8 rounds.

Rounding out the action packed card is unbeaten Mayo heavyweight Declan Timlin. The Sean Mannion trained prospect will look to take his unbeaten record to 4 and 0.

Tickets for the event priced from €50 are currently on sale from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.

Article posted on 28.06.2007



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