Belfast Telegraph

Boxing: John Duddy lined up for Andy Lee battle

By David Kelly

John Duddy is closing in on a mouthwatering all Irish showdown with Limerick’s Andy Lee in December.

The top two middleweights have long been linked with an almost inevitable duel having progressed up the world rankings almost simultaneously and now it seems a deal is about to be struck.

Lee’s manager, the legendary Emmanuel Steward, says he has already agreed with Duddy’s manager Craig Hamilton for the fight to go ahead and December 4 is the proposed date.

Steward said: “I have talked to Craig about the fight and he’s up for it and so are we. It looks like it will be part of the undercard to Miguel Cotto in New York. New York is where I would like it to be, it’s a huge fight there for the Irish community but I know there is interest in staging the fight in Ireland.

“I think for both men it’s a great fight at this stage of their careers and I believe it will take Andy closer to a world title shot.

“As far as I’m concerned Andy is the best middleweight in the world. I want him to face the winner of the Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez WBC title fight in November.”

Despite his points defeat to Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez in June, Duddy remains at number nine in the WBC world rankings, while Lee — whose latest win came last Friday night in Chicago — is ranked nine by the WBA.

Meanwhile, Brian Magee has moved up to number five in the latest WBC ratings as he awaits his WBA super-middleweight title clash with champion Dimitri Sartison, which could happen before Christmas.

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