Boxing


Duddy set to turn up the heat

Derry’s John Duddy is winding up his training camp at the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania ahead of his homecoming bout on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on July 14th. Duddy will arrive in Dublin this weekend ahead of his ten round bout with Italy’s Alessio Furlan accompanied by new trainer Don Turner..

The veteran American is a new addition to Duddy’s team following a parting of the ways with previous trainer Harry Keitt. Following an intensive training camp high up in the picturesque Pocono Mountains both teacher and student are already more than please with the new arrangement.

The undefeated Duddy said, “Turner has me doing stuff I did as an amateur like throwing combinations, working on my hand speed, and pressuring correctly. I’m going to put on more pressure than I did my past few fights, more up tempo, coming at my opponent from all angles. Once I get him on the ropes, I don’t want to let him off the hook. We’ve been working on a lot of small things from a different perspective. I think Don Turner is going to bring the best out of me.”

Turner’s pedigree is certainly impressive having trained a total of 19 world champions including such legendary names as Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, Aaron Pryor and Mike McCallum. Now Turner is confident that he will be able to add Duddy to his list of world champions.

“He has what it takes to go all the way to the top,” Turner said. “I look at how much guts a fighter has to win, that they’re not afraid, because boxing is 90% mental. Duddy has that.”

Critics have earmarked Duddy’s defence as a weak spot in his armoury and Turner admits that is an area he has targeted since linking up with the crowd pleasing Derryman.

“This guy gets hit and it’s my job to teach him not to get hit. He’s just as good as anybody in the middleweight division. He’s responded very well to what I’m teaching him to do and he should be fighting for the world title soon. All he needs to do is throw combinations, it’s the missing link. When he has an opponent hurt, that’s when he has to throw five more punches, not let him off the hook.”

Duddy is now highly rated by all four of the major world sanctioning bodies but his next target is to conquer Europe beginning with his first ever pro fight on Irish soil. After 20 straight wins Stateside Irish fight fans are itching to see the New York based puncher in the flesh and he’s promised not to disappoint.

“They’ll see the new John Duddy on July 14th,” predicted the 27-year-old. “The guy who shows up will be a lot different to the guy who fought in the National Stadium as an amateur. It’s going to be explosive and action packed and there won’t be any need for seats there because the crowd will be on their feet!”

Duddy spent a couple of weeks back in Ireland in May to announce the fight and says he was overwhelmed by the reaction. “It was great being home. I had something to do every day, meeting people in their houses, attending functions and working out at my old gym. The atmosphere there is good and Derry’s a good place to be because things are so positive. I couldn’t believe the reception I received.

“My phone kept ringing. It’s a small town and everybody knows everybody. I even went to the Mayor’s Ball and the mayors of Dublin and Belfast were there. After a while I couldn’t go anywhere in Northern Ireland because so many people were around who wanted to see me, but that won’t be a distraction for the fight because we’ll be setting up camp in Dublin, not back home in Derry”

The fight will be broadcast live on RTÉ TWO on Saturday July 14th from 10pm with coverage also available online (excluding North America) on RTE.ie.

Duddy’s U.S. fight fans are also catered for with the “The Homecoming” being broadcast live on cable pay-per-view starting at 5pm Eastern Time, 2pm Pacific Time. The event, produced by RTÉ and distributed for pay-per-view by Integrated Sports, will be available via iN Demand and TVN for a suggested retail price of only $19.95.

A replay broadcast will be shown at 10pm Eastern Time on July 14. The event will also be available via Closed Circuit throughout the United States.

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

Article posted on 04.07.2007



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