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Boxing: Duddy arrives for Eastman acid test

By David Kelly

He is the man who has taken John Duddy to the brink of a world title fight but Eddie McLoughlin admits that on Saturday night we will find out if he is the genuine article.

"We're now going to see if John is a pretender or a contender. Howard Eastman is going to ask a lot of questions and we'll see if John has the answers," said manager McLoughlin.

The Irish-American took Duddy under his wing four years ago when the new star of Irish boxing touched down in the Big Apple.

"I went to New York as a nobody," admits Duddy, who meets former European champion and two-time world title challenger Eastman at the King's Hall on Saturday night.

McLoughlin set up Duddy - who arrived in Belfast today - in an apartment and at the legendary Gleason's Gym where he cut his teeth with many tough hombres, while his manager started the marketing process which eventually exploded and made him a New York celebrity.

"I'm very proud of what has been achieved so far and I feel honoured and glad to have been around since ground zero, so to speak, until now and we know a world title chance is close.

"So I can see how people would think that the fight with Eastman is a bit of a gamble but then every time you enter the ring it's a gamble. All along we have been planning that when John fights for a world title he is ready to win a world title. This fight with Eastman is just what he needs right now so we can see where he is at in the world scene."

Belfast Telegraph

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