Belfast Telegraph

Duddy aims to get back on Pavlik trail

By David Kelly

John Duddy is at peace with himself and his boxing just in time before he steps into the glare of a worldwide television audience and 45,000 people in the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas.

The Derry middleweight meets Mexican Michael Medina tonight on the undercard of legend Manny Pacquaio's WBO World welterweight title defence against Ghana's Joshua Clottey who also happens to be a friend of Duddy.

Duddy is adamant that he is back in the old groove that saw him rise to the brink of a 1.6m dollar pay-day with World champion Kelly Pavlik in 2008 only to see it crumble after a bloody duel with Walid Smichet, just two months after his victory over Howard Eastman — still the best win of his career.

Now he meets Medina who has only one defeat and the fire in his belly to test Duddy and give us a better indication of whether or not he is on the Pavlik trail again.

For a period of time Duddy tinkered with his full throttle approach but now he is back to basics.

Duddy said: “Look, I'm 30 so I'm not about to turn into Sugar Ray Leonard and maybe for a while I was focusing too much on trying to become a boxer.

“I'm not saying it was a total waste of time but I'm a natural fighter, it's what I do best and when I go out there with Medina we'll not be dancing, we'll be fighting,” he explained.

“My left hook and body shots have always been big for me and I've been working a lot on them recently and it has been a great camp for me.”

Duddy, based in New York again, is once more enjoying the work with coach Harry Keitt and expects to deliver a performance against Medina that will push him towards the World top 10 again.

Duddy added: “It's an old saying but the stage is set for a great night. I've been on big bills before, I fought on the Bragimov-Klitshko heavyweight bill when I fought Smichet and lost everything that night.

“The fight with Kelly Pavlik was to have been next but it went out the window.

“The training has been great, I've been keeping things at a high level and I just feel so relaxed.

“Even the people around me like Harry and Craig Hamilton are saying how relaxed I am.

“I've watched Medina and he looks a good, aggressive fighter so I won't have to go looking for him. I think the fans are in for a real treat.

“As long as I get the job done then I know that I am still on course for my ultimate goal.”

As for the main event, Duddy says he expects Clottey to give the Pac Man a hard night's work.

He added: “I think Joshua is going to give Pacquaio a real fight.

“People think Pacquaio is just going to walk right through him but I don't see it that way because I've sparred Joshua and he's one tough guy.”

Belfast Telegraph

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