Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Boxing: Duddy gets a world title chance

John Duddy has been handed another change of opponent just days before he returns to action on Saturday night at the National Stadium.

Duddy was to have boxed former world title challenger Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba but the Uruguayan has been ruled out with a detached retina and will be replaced by Prince Arron, a 19-year-old prospect from Manchester.

Originally Duddy had been scheduled to meet Spaniard Pablo Navascues but he suffered an ankle injury.

The unbeaten Derry man will be disappointed as he has been focused on Alcoba in his training camp in the Poconos mountains.

It was going to be a step up in class for Duddy but now he is a red hot favourite to easily handle Arron.

The show will also feature unbeaten Dungiven man Paul McCloskey in a tough duel with Cristian Frias of the Dominican Republic over ten rounds and Matthew Macklin meets former Duddy foe Alessio Furlan.

Meanwhile, Ireland's boxers head off to Chicago today for the World Championships.

The championships will serve as a qualifier for the Beijing Olympics next summer, with all quarter-finalists from light-fly to light-heavyweight and all semi-finalists at both heavy and super-heavyweight earning automatic Olympic entry.

Gary Keegan, the director of the High Performance programme, said: "Our expectation is three qualifiers, which will be a 200 per cent increase on what we've had at the last two Olympics.

"We're going into these World Championships with what we see as a really good chance. Our three top boxers are all world ranked and highly experienced, and all have an excellent chance of making the quarter-finals.

"All three of them, Kenny Egan, Darren Sutherland and Roy Sheahan, have been there before. Kenny will be boxing in his fourth World Championships and was a quarter-finalist in two of his previous three - Darren made the last eight in China two years ago."

Ulstermen Paddy Barnes, Ryan Lindberg, John Sweeney and Cathal McMonagle are part of the 11-strong team.