2007-01-26 / Sports

Duddy Headlines St. Patrick's Day Fight Card At MSG

By Elio Velez

John Duddy. Photo By Peter Borriello.
John Duddy. Photo By Peter Borriello.

The Irish Ropes Gym in Arverne may be gone but the boxing promotion which uses the same names lives on as WBA Continental Americans and IBA Champion John Duddy will invade Madison Square Garden for the fourth time.

Charismatic and a rising star in the boxing business, Duddy will take his undefeated record of 18-0 with 15 KO's against Anthony Bonsante as the fight headlines the "Erin Go Brawl" pay per view event.

The main event will take place at the Theater from Madison Square Garden on March 16 and will be broadcast live starting at 9 p.m. on In Demand PPV, DirectTV and Dish Network for $24.95.

A sellout is expected again as the fight takes place the day before St. Patrick's Day and the rising fanbase the Derry County, Northern Ireland born star has gained in his early career.

Duddy, who is 25 years old, has headlined the Garden twice and is glad to return.

"It's going to be a tremendous fight. We both have tremendous heart and hunger.. God willing, you'll see me put it all on the line like I did in my last fight," Duddy said.

In his last fight, Duddy defeated veteran Yory Boy Campos on September 29, 2006 in a 12 round decision to win the vacant IBA middleweight title.

"I'm looking forward to this fight. I'm hungry and eager to put on a tremendous show. It's going to be a night to remember for the Irish, boxing fans and Irish Ropes. There's going to be an explosion March 16th," Duddy said.

Eddie McLoughlin, the president of Irish Ropes and lead promoter of the event says interest from the United States and the rest of the world pushed the fight to be broadcast on pay per view.

"The interest in this show is unbelievable and that's why we decided to do a pay-per-view event. I've already been inundated with ticket requests," McLoughlin said.

"We have people coming from across the United States, Ireland, Canada and even 16 (people) I know of all the way from Australia."

Duddy's fight will be against Anthony Bonsante (29-8-3, 17 KOs), a former contestant in the Sylvester Stallone produced television show "The Contender", who defeated Matt Vanda in Minneapolis on January 12.

Vanda, who had a better record heading into his fight with Bonsante was expected to be Duddy's opponent. The 36 year old changed that expectation with a one sided 10 round decisive win.

Tickets for the "Erin Go Brawl" event, which will also feature undefeated super featherweight Maureen Shea and Ireland born heavyweight James Clancy, are priced from $50 to $400 and can be purchased at the Garden or through Ticketmaster at 212-307-7171.

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