2007-03-23 / Sports

Duddy Blasts Away Bonsante At MSG

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

John Duddy (left) connects on a left hook to the chin of Anthony Bonsante at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Irish Ropes.John Duddy (left) connects on a left hook to the chin of Anthony Bonsante at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Irish Ropes. The inclement weather outside Madison Square Garden was a frosty mix of ice and snow. Inside the World's Most Famous Arena on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, John Duddy was taking the next step by heating up the big bright stage once again in his young boxing career.

Duddy kept his impressive and undefeated rise in the middleweight division by dispatching Anthony Bonsante with a 9th round unanimous TKO decision at the "Erin Go Brawl" event in front of a sellout crowd of 5,000 people and viewers watching on pay-per-view on March 16. He also won the vacant WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Title and the IBA middleweight title.

Referee Steve Smoger stopped the fight before the start of the tenth round and went to the scorecards as he did not allow the crimson red face of blood from Bonsante to continue. Bonsante suffered cuts from the top of his forehead and nose from an accidental headbutt in a clash with Duddy early in the fourth round.

The blood could not be curtailed and Smoger went to the scorecards, which was unanimous for Duddy, who improved his record to 19-0 with 15 KOs.

All in all, it was an impressive showing for the 27 year old Northern Ireland born star even if Bonsante, whose record fell to 29 wins and 9 losses, showed plenty of guts but not enough boxing skills to give his opponent any signs of trouble or danger.

Duddy's intent was to use his left hook and one-two combinations that he displayed last September in his previous win over Yory Boy Campas.

In that fight, Duddy won the early rounds but received some serious blows from the former 35 year old champion. He admitted he was rusty from the recovery from cuts suffered in his eyes from the 12 round victory decision over Campos.

Changing his approach from previously having a dominant style of just being brawler, Duddy showed more of a technical boxing sense to win the early rounds.

As the fourth round began, Duddy and Bonsante went to hit each other in the middle of the ring but both ducked and clashed heads. Bonsante, the 36 year old who is best known as one of the boxers on the television show "The Contender", got the worst of it. Duddy took advantage and claimed control.

"He came here to survive and that's what he exactly done. I don't know too much or remember everything about it but he came out the worst of it," Duddy said after the fight.

The sellout crowd which included boxing greats from Jake LaMotta to Gerry Cooney urged Duddy to go for the knockout blow when the cut occurred, which blurred his opponent's vision.

Since Duddy could not put Bonsante on the canvas, he kept to his plan on cutting off the ring and landing one-two combinations which kept Bonsante off-balance.

"It looked like he became more negative and negative. He was running and not throwing any punches. He was brave. He made it hard for me. I wasn't going to get the stoppage that I wanted and I thought the crowd deserved," Duddy said. "But I had some good clean shots. He was strong and durable to take it."

Bonsante was game for a fight as he stood toe to toe with Duddy while puddles of blood were oozing from his forehead and nose. Most observers from ringside and even Duddy said he expected the ringside doctors to put a halt to the fight from the sixth round and on.

Bonsante got off some blows, delivering an nice uppercut and left hand which landed on Duddy's face in the seventh and ninth rounds. That connected but not without much power to effectively trouble Duddy.

So with the victory and selling out the Theatre at the Garden for the third time in his career, fighter such as a Duddy might begin to have a swelled head.

With a frank candor, he resists the temptation to call himself a finished product and still knows he has things to work on before he can step in the ring for a big money title fight.

But the day is soon coming when Duddy and his Irish Ropes management team might put everything together to command another fight at the Garden. That next fight might be next St. Patrick's Day for the middleweight championship of the world.

"I boxed a lot better. He (Bonsante) caught me a few times… But as you can see, there is not a mark on me. My eyes are as a blue as ever," Duddy said a wink of his left eye. "I'm looking forward to my next fight."

to get the stoppage that I wanted and I thought the crowd deserved," Duddy said. "But I had some good clean shots. He was strong and durable to take it."

Bonsante was game for a fight as he stood toe to toe with Duddy while puddles of blood were oozing from his forehead and nose. Most observers from ringside and even Duddy said he expected the ringside doctors to put a halt to the fight from the sixth round and on.

Bonsante got off some blows, delivering an nice uppercut and left hand which landed on Duddy's face in the seventh and ninth rounds. That connected but not without much power to effectively trouble Duddy.

So with the victory and selling out the Theatre at the Garden for the third time in his career, fighter such as a Duddy might begin to have a swelled head.

With a frank candor, he resists the temptation to call himself a finished product and still knows he has things to work on before he can step in the ring for a big money title fight.

But the day is soon coming when Duddy and his Irish Ropes management team might put everything together to command another fight at the Garden. That next fight might be next St. Patrick's Day for the middleweight championship of the world.

"I boxed a lot better. He (Bonsante) caught me a few times… But as you can see, there is not a mark on me. My eyes are as a blue as ever," Duddy said a wink of his left eye. "I'm looking forward to my next fight."

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