John Duddy has been hit with a late change of opponent for his headline bout on the next Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium on October 20th. The New York based Derryman had been set to meet Pablo Navascues but the Spaniard has been forced to withdraw courtesy of an ongoing ankle injury which had seriously disrupted his preparations for the bout..
Stepping in to fill the void is Uruguay’s Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba.
The South American is fresh from a battling bid for Felix Sturm’s WBA middleweight title in Germany this summer and believes he can work his way to a second world title shot with a win over Duddy.
Duddy of course has world title ambitions of his own and with talk of a challenge to the new middleweight kingpin Kelly Pavlik early next year Gonzalez could prove a deadly obstacle.
The sole defeat of Gonzalez 15 fight career came at the hands of Sturm in June but the 28-year-old’s points defeat in Stuttgart suggested that he is capable of mixing it with the very nest in the middleweight division.
“This is a dangerous fight for John,” said promoter Brian Peters. “With Kelly Pavlik’s impressive win over Jermain Taylor last weekend the middleweight picture has really opened up and John is perfectly positioned to take advantage of that. He’s highly ranked with all the major sanctioning bodies and a very marketable challenger for any of the champions, including Pavlik.
“All of that will go out the window though if he can’t get past Gonzalez and he is a tough, hard man. He’s just coming off the back of that points defeat for the WBA title and he made Sturm work very hard to retain his title. One judge only had Sturm winning by a margin of 116 – 112 so I expect Gonzalez to really push John and there’s no doubt it’s a risky assignment given the kind of options on the table for John now.”
Gonzalez’s performance in defeat against Sturm is all the more notable given that the German is best known for his highly controversial points defeat to Oscar De La Hoya in 2004.
The Argentinean based fighter’s trip to Germany was his first time fighting abroad and he says the experience gained in Germany will make all the difference against Duddy.
“I learned a lot from my fight with Sturm and that defeat will make me a better fighter.
“I know that Duddy will be a very hard fight but my dream is to become world champion, for me and Uruguay. My life hasn’t been easy and I want to make it better. Beating Duddy will be the next step to another world title fight and realising my dream.”
Also featuring on the night of the Celtic Tigers at the National Stadium is Irish middleweight champion Matthew Macklin, undefeated light welterweight Paul McCloskey and unbeaten Lurgan prospect Stephen Haughian.
The full 9 fight card will be confirmed next week.
Tickets for the “Celtic Tigers” Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the National Stadium, Dublin on October 20th are priced from €50 and are available from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets.