Winner Duddy set for Yankee Stadium battle
John Duddy had his most significant victory in two years in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and now he goes from an NFL stage to an iconic baseball arena, Yankee Stadium on June 5.
Duddy won a split decision over Mexican Michael Medina in the early hours of yesterday morning (96-93, 96-93, 93-96), even though most felt he was a clear winner in this appetiser ahead of Manny Pacquaio's WBO welterweight title points victory over Ghana's Joshua Clottey before 50,000 fans.
And Duddy showed some of his old fire as he withstood the 23-year-old's gutsy assaults and responded with his own high workrate.
The Mexican was trying every way he could to have an edge, including going south of the border and that led to a point deduction at the end of the eighth round for low blows.
The Derry man is now truly back on course for a shot at world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, who is promoted by Bob Arum.
Arum has staged many of Duddy's fights, including this latest victory and has signed him up for the supporting bill to Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium.
Duddy said: “It's a good victory for me and in front of 50,000 people it was just fantastic.
“Just to be able to go out and watch Pacquaio-Clottey as well as the lightweight world title fight was great.
“I didn't think it was that close but that's Texas for you.
“They say down here if you're fighting a Mexican you have to knock them out to get a draw.
“Fair play to him he was a tough guy, he kept coming back at me but I know that when I turned it up he was hurt.
“But he threw everything at me and hit me low a few times and my back is killing me — he hit me everywhere!”
Meanwhile the learning curve continued for Belfast flyweight Michael Conlon last night as the St John Bosco’s clubman got Ireland off to a winning start against Vincenzo Picardi in the senior international challenge against Italy at the Donegal Celtic Social Club.
Another winner was Paddy Barnes — Olympic bronze medalist — who was in action at the 51kg limit.