Connect with us

Articles of 2004

Boxer Duddy has Irish eyes smilin’ in U.S.

Published

on

Unbeaten middleweight John Duddy’s (7-0, 7 KOs) classic Irish blood-and-guts style of fighting and matinee idol looks has helped him capture the hearts and minds of boxing fans in his native Northern Ireland, as well as a growing number in the United States, particularly on the East Coast.

Duddy has followed the same Emerald path across the Atlantic earlier taken by fellow Irishmen such as former world champions Steve “Celtic Warrior” Collins and Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough. In less than a year and one-half, despite seven months of inactivity due to passport problems, the Derry (Northern Ireland) native and now Queens (NY) resident has continued the strong Irish tradition in boxing, already establishing him as one of boxing’s most exciting prospects.

“Things were still good back home,” Duddy explained his move, “but boxing is a dying sport in Ireland, and there was nothing more there for me. I saw a lot of Irish fighters step across the water who’ve done well like Collins and McCullough. The reason I came here (New York City) was for boxing knowledge. Nowhere could I learn as much about boxing than working and training in New York City. I don’t feel any pressure here being an Irish fighter.”

Duddy was born into boxing. His father, Mickey, fought professionally as a lightweight in 1981-83, posting a 3-4 (1 KO) record. He sparred with former world champions Barry “The Clones Cyclone” McGuigan and Ken Buchanan, as well as ex-European title-holder Charlie Nash. John started training at the age of five, made his amateur debut at seven, and won his first National title at 15. After registering a 100-30 amateur record. John’s amateur coaches, his father Mickey and Charlie Nash in Ireland, as well as Neil Ferrara in New York City, all advised him to turn pro and relocate in New York City.

“I was lucky enough as an amateur to travel to Russia, Cuba, Romania, America and other countries,” John noted. “I knew I had to come to New York City to get to where I want to be.”

The McLoughlin brothers took Duddy under their wings and eventually became his manager. The late, great Al Gavin served as cutman for his first four fights, Harry Keith has taken over as his head coach, and John now works out of the Irish Ropes Boxing Club in Far Rockaway, New York.

Unbeaten in his first seven pro fights, all by knockout, Duddy has been somewhat surprised by his KO streak because he had very few as an amateur. “I think I’m a better boxer as a pro than amateur because there was a lot I didn’t know as an amateur,” he explained. “I’m planting my feet, opening my toes, and punching better. All of the little things I’m learning add up into results.”

Duddy hasn’t been fed a steady diet of tomato cans, either. Three of his last four victims have been (10-4-1) Ken Hock and a pair of previously undefeated boxers, (7-0) Victor Paz and (3-0) Glen Dunnings.

John’s long-range goal is to become the first Irish-born middleweight champion of the world since the original, “Non-pareil” Jack Dempsey in the 1880’s. “I’m just happy to be fighting at this time,” the modest Duddy remarked. “Any fighter dreams of winning the world title. I’m very realistic and don’t like shouting too much about myself. You’re only as good as your next fight.

“I’ve been very fortunate. The only sport I’ve loved since the first day has been boxing. Everything else fell by the wayside. Hopefully, I’ll be good enough to be mentioned with the likes of Barry McGuigan and Sugar Ray Leonard. I’m excited about the start of my career.”

So are his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Articles of 2004

2004 Boxing Pound for Pound List

Published

on

The final boxing pound-for-pound list of the year for 2004.

1. Bernard Hopkins: The top guy from beginning to end, Hopkins took care of Oscar De La Hoya with a body shot in the biggest fight of 2004. Now, he'll wait for Jermain Taylor to progress a little further, or he'll go the rematch route with Felix Trinidad. Either way, Hopkins stands to earn a lot of money in 2005 and extend that all-time middleweight reign.

2. Floyd Mayweather: How long has it been since we've seen Mayweather in a meaningful fight? Certainly not in 2004, when he outpointed the difficult DeMarcus Corley. He's slated for a January outing against a no-name. Enough stalling, already, “Pretty Boy”. Fight someone we care about (preferably Kostya Tszyu), or you'll lose your #2 position sometime in 2005.

3. Felix Trinidad: “Tito” stormed back with a magnificent knockout of Ricardo Mayorga in 2004, and now hopes to capitalize on it with big money fights. He'd like nothing more than a rematch with his only conqueror, Hopkins, but he may also opt for old nemesis Oscar De La Hoya. Either way, Trinidad is sure to fight a big fight sometime in the coming year.

4. Kostya Tszyu: What a difference one fight makes. As recently as late October, the boxing world was wondering whether Tszyu was even serious about the sport anymore. We found out with a second round demolition of Sharmba Mitchell. And that made the junior welterweight division very attractive. Tszyu has several options now, including Arturo Gatti and Mayweather or even a hop up to welterweight to challenge Cory Spinks. Let's hope one of them happens in 2005.

5. Manny Pacquiao: Pacquiao fought twice in 2004, and what a fight the first one was. His thrilling war with Juan Manuel Marquez was the best brawl of the year, and there is a chance that the two rivals will go at it again in 2005. If not, Pacquiao has a list full of options: Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, etc. Pacquiao will fight one of them in the next year.

6. Marco Antonio Barrera: Another guy thought to be washed up when the year started, Barrera resurrected his career for the second time with a masterful victory over Paulie Ayala and a close decision over rival Erik Morales in another great fight. Barrera is obviously shooting for a return with Pacquiao, who decimated him in November 2003. Barrera says it was an off-night. Hopefully, we'll find out if that was the case.

7. Winky Wright: Winky entered the “superstar” realm in 2004 with a pair of decision victories over Shane Mosley. The first was very impressive, as Wright practically shut Mosley out. The second was closer, but proved once again that Winky was the superior fighter. He'd like a shot at Trinidad or Oscar De La Hoya, but neither will happen. He'd probably be best off shooting for a name like Fernando Vargas or Ricardo Mayorga.

8. Juan Manuel Marquez: After several years on the outside looking in, Marquez is finally in a position to make some money after his courageous performance against Pacquiao. He rose from three first-round knockdowns to wage the fight of his life in a fight that was ruled a draw. It would also be interesting to see Marquez against countrymen Barrera and Erik Morales.

9. Erik Morales: “El Terrible” fought another great fight against Barrera, but, again, it was in a losing cause. He has now lost two of three to his fierce rival, and probably wants nothing to do with him anymore. But, eventually, talk of Barrera-Morales 4 will come up again. In the meantime, Morales could shoot for Pacquiao or Marquez.

10. Glencoffe Johnson: The newest entry, Johnson pumped some life into boxing in 2004 with a pair of upsets of Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver. Now, he's set to make some really big money in rematches with either, or a shot at old conqueror Hopkins. Either way, Johnson is better than anyone imagined.

11. Jose Luis Castillo: Castillo made some comeback noise of his own in 2004, beating Juan Lazcano for his old vacant title and decisioning Joel Casamayor for another big win. He says he wants Kostya Tszyu next, and if that materializes, boxing fans will be in for a treat. If not, Castillo vs. Diego Corrales is a great fight.

12. Oscar De La Hoya: Hard to erase that picture of De La Hoya grimacing in agony courtesy of a Hopkins shot to the ribs, but the “Golden Boy” had no business fighting at 160 pounds. He should drop down to junior middle or even welterweight again if he has any hope of regaining his past form. But 2005 could be the final year for one of boxing's all-time great attractions.

On the brink: Antonio Tarver, Diego Corrales, James Toney

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

Heavyweight Joe Mesi Bringing Lawsuit

Published

on

By

As reported by the Buffalo News, Joe Mesi is suing the New York State Athletic Commission and the MRI center that conducted tests on the heavyweight boxer after his bout with Vassiliy Jirov. Mesi reportedly suffered brain injuries in the Jirov bout, which has left his boxing status uncertain.

The lawsuit alleges Mesi's medical records were improperly released to the NYSAC. The records, the lawsuit goes on to allege, were then released to the media, prejudicing Mesi's right to have his status reviewed by the appropriate boxing authorities.

The lawsuit does not seek specific monetary damages, as the extent of damages will be affected by whether Mesi is able to resume his career as a leading heavyweight contender.

Mesi hopes to have his status reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission within the coming month. The ruling of the NSAC promises to be key in whether Mesi will be able to resume his boxing career.

Continue Reading

Articles of 2004

The Best in Chicago Boxing Returns

Published

on

By

Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions and Bob Arum's Top Rank Incorporated along with Miller Lite presents SOLO BOXEO DE MILLER, THE ARAGON RUMBLE, another installment of The Best in Chicago Boxing on Friday, January 14th, broadcast live internationally as part of Telefutura's Friday night professional boxing series.

The newly remodeled Aragon Ballroom is located at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. near the corner of Lawrence and Broadway in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and is easily accessible, just 4 blocks west of Lake Shore Drive and just 4 miles east of the Kennedy expressway. There are three large parking lots located within a 1/2 block of the Aragon Ballroom. Additionally, the Howard Street Blue Line stops just across the street. Doors will open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.

Headlining the action packed card is the American debut of super-bantamweight Ricardo “PIOLO” Castillo, 12-2 (6KO's) of Mexicali, Mexico as he squares off in a scheduled ten rounder against WBO Latino Champion, Edel Ruiz, 24-12-3 (13KO's) of Los Mochis, SI, Mexico. Castillo will be accompanied to the ring by his brother, World Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo.

In the co-main event of the evening, one of Chicago's most popular fighters, middleweight “MACHO” Miguel Hernandez, 14-1 (9KO's), battles hard swinging local veteran “MARVELOUS” Shay Mobley, 7-4-1 (2KO's), of One In a Million Inc.in a scheduled eight rounder.

The huge undercard bouts include;

Carlos Molina vs TBA, six rounds, junior middleweights
Frankie Tafoya vs TBA, four rounds, featherweights
Ottu Holified vs. Allen Medina, four rounds, middleweights
Francisco Rodriguez vs. LaShaun Blair, four rounds, bantamweights
Rita Figueroa vs. Sarina Hayden, four rounds, junior welterweights

Said Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions, “it was a terrific evening last month and our fans were thrilled to be at the Aragon to watch David, Speedy and Luciano. David Diaz's fight against Jaime Rangel was a fight people will talk about for a long time. Our commitment to our fans is to make every event of ours better than the last one. This main event is terrific, both guys are very tough Mexicans who won't take a step back.

The fans love Miguel and Mobley figures to be a very tough opponent. Him and David Estrada had a six round war last June at our show. And the undercard showcases a lot of new, younger talent that is coming out of Chicago right now. Tafoya and Holifield have both had very successful beginnings to their careers and Francisco Rodriguez comes with fantastic amateur credentials and David Diaz says he has all the talent to be a great pro.”

“We've got big plans for 2005 and this show should take up right where last months show left off. The huge crowd loved the action last time and I'm sure they'll say the same thing this time.”

Continue Reading

Trending