John Duddy Retirement Shock - Fight With Andy Lee Off!

By James Slater - In a shock development, exciting Irish super-middleweight contender John Duddy has announced his retirement from boxing. Claiming to have lost the love he once had for the sport, the popular slugger told BBC radio he will not go ahead with the big fight against fellow Irish man Andy Lee, which was set to take place on the under-card of the March 12th Sergio Martinez-Sergiy Dzinziruk middleweight title clash.

In deciding to retire, Duddy, 29-2(18), gives up a potential shot at the world title and a guaranteed purse of around $100,000 for the Lee bout. But the 31-year-old’s decision seems final; he no longer has the passion for the sport that made him famous..

“For more than 20 years I loved being a boxer, but I don’t love it anymore,” Duddy explained. “I used to love going to the gym - now it’s a chore. The fire has burned out and I know it will not return. I no longer have the enthusiasm and willingness to make the sacrifices that are necessary to honour the craft of prize fighting. It would be unfair to my fans, my trainer and manager, and everyone involved for me to continue boxing when I know my heart isn’t in it.

“I give you my word - I will not come back.”

Duddy went on to say how childhood hero and former featherweight king Barry McGuigan’s own retirement words are so meaningful to him now. McGuigan, who also retired at a relatively young age, once said that “fighters are the first people to know when they should retire and the last to admit it.”

Duddy says he knows in his heart it is his time to admit it now.

So Duddy goes out after having had those 31 pro bouts, many of which were exciting to watch. A pro since September of 1993, the New York based Derry-man soon attracted a big following due to his pleasing style. Possessing the heart of a lion, the easy-to-hit warrior made his fans fall in love with him and his gutsy style of fighting.

We will never know now, just how good Duddy could have been or how far he could have gone. Having worked hard to improve his defence, Duddy had won three in a row since his upset loss to Billy Lyell in April of 2009. But then came the decisive decision loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Junior last June, and now the never-stopped crowd-pleaser will fight no more.

Plenty of fighters have announced their retirement before, only to change their minds later and come back. Duddy sounds like he means it when he says he will not be back. We all wish him a happy retirement.

Article posted on 19.01.2011

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