Belfast Telegraph

Duddy's just like Holyfield: Turner

By David Kelly

Don Turner has been to the summit and wants one more look from that lofty position with John Duddy.

Veteran coach Turner has been working with the unbeaten Derry man since the summer and believes Duddy has the ingredients to cause a major shock when he eventually challenges WBC/ WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, set for January 26 in Atlantic City.

Turner's roll of champions is impressive to say the least when you consider such names as Aaron Pryor, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield and James Toney.

Interestingly it is in Holyfield that the wily coach sees similarities with Duddy, who should have little difficulty in turning back the challenge of Prince Arron this evening in the National Stadium in Dublin.

Turner said: "I have been very impressed with the way John has worked in the gym. His dedication and determination reminds me a lot of Evander.

" Evander had this great desire to succeed and John has the same. He is so willing to progress as a fighter and I'm sure he can go on and be world champion.

"We have been working very hard on how he operates in the ring, working on his defence and he has come on a lot. I think you'll see improvements with him in this fight.

"I think John is a match for any middleweight in the world and he'll prove it."

Duddy will put thoughts of a clash with World champion Pavlik to one side as he focuses on dealing with Arron, who is desperate to cause an upset.

The 28-year-old, who has been preparing in the Poconos Mountains, should have been fighting Uruguay's Noe Tulio Gonzalez Alcoba, a former world champion but instead it is Arron who enjoyed a victory last weekend.

Arron has one thing in common with world champion Pavlik, he's well over 6ft but that's where it ends and Duddy should win inside six rounds.

On the supporting bill, Paul McCloskey was bitterly disappointed not to be fighting another good opponent in his third successive ten rounder but instead of Hungary's Laszlo Komjathi he is now boxing journeyman Dariusz Snarski, a very late replacement.

McCloskey said: "It's a pity that I'm not fighting a better opponent because the better the fighter I box, the better I fight.

"I just hope that once I get this guy out of the way I'll be getting a title fight because I'm 28 now and it's overdue."

Just like Duddy, McCloskey should enjoy a comfortable stoppage victory, while the fight of the night may well be the meeting between Matthew Macklin and Alessio Furlan of Italy.

Alessio was last seen going ten rounds with Duddy before being stopped late in the tenth.

Lurgan's unbeaten Stephen Haughian has an eight rounder with Thomas Hengtsberger and should make it 11 straight wins.

Haughian should be fighting for an Irish title by the end of the year or at worst the start of 2008.

Coach/manager John Breen said: "Stephen Haughian is the most improved fighter in Ireland. He's going to shock a lot of people by just how far he can go in his career."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph