Andy Lee-John Duddy - Who Wins The All-Irish Showdown In Connecticut?

By James Slater - Almost set to take place on the under-card of the big, Sergio Martinez-Sergiy Dzinziruk clash that will go ahead in Connecticut on March 12th, is a fascinating all-Irish showdown that may well be the fight of the night. Andy Lee and John Duddy, two all-action warriors who rarely disappoint the fans when it comes to providing great action, are reportedly set to rumble.

Emanuel Steward, the Hall of Fame trainer of Lee, is quoted by Boxrec (who quote The Irish Daily Star) as saying the fight is “just about definite..

“I am convinced Andy will beat John Duddy,” Emanuel continued. “I think he will knock him out and then Andy goes for the [world] title - even if he has a warm-up fight beforehand.”

As fans may recall, there was some talk a short time ago that said Lee, 24-1(18) might fight world middleweight king Martinez next, on the March date. Now, however, the 26-year-old southpaw gets the chance to get himself further experience whilst taking on a tough, gutsy foe in 31-year-old Duddy. If Lee struggles badly or if he is beaten by the 29-2(18) warrior, he can forget all about a shot at Martinez.

This fight is a definite risk for both men - Duddy especially, for if he loses he may have seen his top level career ended - but whoever comes out on top, it will be the fans who will be the real winners. Both guys love to fight, even if Lee is a good deal more polished than Duddy is in terms of boxing skill, and both men have a huge heart. Duddy has never been stopped, while Lee was TKO’d by former “Contender” Bryan Vera in what is his sole loss to date - and even in that fight, Lee was still throwing punches at the very end.

Duddy, it must be said, was schooled last time out, by Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, and that June, 12-round UD loss may have put a serious dent in the Derry man’s confidence. Lee, who was born in London but has Irish parents, is on a real roll right now. 9-0(6) since the 2008 loss to Vera, the tall (6’2” lefty) has put on some good performances (albeit against mostly so-so opposition) and he has shown his punching power whilst doing so. Lee has to be looked at as a pretty big favourite over the always-game Duddy.

Lee is younger, arguably fresher, not so easy to hit, and he is a good deal taller than Duddy. Added to this in the list of problems Duddy will face on March 12th, is Lee’s southpaw stance. Duddy has not had too much experience in the ring against southpaws, and he may struggle with Lee as a result. An upset aside, I can’t see Duddy winning this one. Not as hittable as he was when he was warring with the likes of Walid Smitchet, Duddy still figures to have his chin tested in Connecticut.

Both guys deserve credit for taking this risky fight, and again, it will likely be the fans who emerge as the real winners. Will this one go the distance? I wouldn’t bet on it!

Article posted on 12.01.2011

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