2005-07-29 / Sports

Duddy’s Victory Gives Notice To Boxing World

By Elio Velez

John Duddy and the Irish Ropes Team poses for the camera after a huge victory: (l to r) Dwayne Davis, Harry Keitt, Danny Graham, Yasin Rashind, Malvin Vega, John Duddy and Orlando Carrasquillo. Photo by Pete Borriello. John Duddy and the Irish Ropes Team poses for the camera after a huge victory: (l to r) Dwayne Davis, Harry Keitt, Danny Graham, Yasin Rashind, Malvin Vega, John Duddy and Orlando Carrasquillo. Photo by Pete Borriello. Every fight for middleweight boxing contender John Duddy is a new experience. The Derry County, Ireland born fighter who trains at the Irish Ropes Boxing Club in Arverne took his act on the road to Chicago last Friday night.

He took an undefeated record of 10-0 and 9 KO against Patrick Coleman on the undercard of ESPN 2’s Friday Night Fights. Seven rounds had passed before the Irish born fighter could get comfortable at the All-State Arena. But in the eighth, Duddy’s budding talent was put on great display.

In the round, Duddy landed numerous left jabs and combinations which proved to be too much for Coleman to take. A left hook and a right hand ended the night for his opponent on a knockout. It was a night of adjustments and then triumph.

Duddy was facing off against a veteran opponent who had won 29 fights and was proving to be quite a challenge. Coleman kept up with the quick tempo that was set by his opponent and landed good retaliation shots that kept Duddy off balance in the fight.

“I landed a lot of strong punches. I knew I threw 3 to 4 times as many punches than he did and I landed three times as much,” Duddy said.

“He was very durable and a strong opponent. After a round, I said to Harry (Keitt, his head trainer) that I have to hit him with a kitchen sink to knock him down.”

In his young career, Duddy has proved to critics that he can adjust to different opponents’ styles. Once the eighth round rang, the calm and focus from the young middleweight came through.

“I finally relaxed and went back to boxing. I kept the tempo fast and put punches together as power comes together with speed, Duddy said.

Duddy readily admits that he hasn’t fought the perfect fight yet but his abilities in the ring have started to get some attention. A combination of word of mouth, films and growing media attention has the big men in the sport, who bring television exposure and money fights, out of the woodwork.

Knocking on Duddy’s Door

According to Duddy and manager Eddie McLoughlin, the co-owner of the Irish Ropes Boxing Club along with brother Tony, promoters such as Don King and Bob Arum are just a few of the names that are angling to sign the fighter to a contract.

And the list of suitors is growing each and every day.

The last three bouts that the fighter had on ESPN 2 and on the undercard of the MSG Miguel Cotto card have attracted the big promoters. They have noticed that Duddy has a growing following among fans throughout the Irish communities in New York but also back in the United Kingdom.

Media outlets such as the BBC and the Belfast Telegraph are a just a few that is reporting on the exploits of the 25 year old. He’s overjoyed at the headline that’s been received from home.

“That’s fantastic about getting the attention. My father called me and said I was on the national news in the UK. I love when I hear I’m in the Belfast Telegraph, Daily Mirror and there is my picture on the back page,” Duddy says. “It shows you how small the world is.”

It’s his charisma, humble attitude, and never say die spirit which are a few of the qualities that reportedly led Don King to offer a contract to Duddy.

But hold the phone. Though he appreciated the offer, Duddy politely said thanks but no thanks. Weighing the offers will take sometime and his Irish Ropes management team is in no hurry to come to a decision.

That day will come soon when he will have to decide the future. The next fight, which should take place in mid- September, will be the only thing to focus on for the present. It’s the way Duddy wants to build his career, which is one solid step at a time.

“We’re not under pressure to take a contract. It’ll be a team agreement, not just me,” Duddy says. “This will be a family decision. In 5 or 6 months, we will decide on what looks good.”

“Team Duddy and Irish Ropes are successful and why fix what is not broken!”

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