Irish boxer John Duddy knocks out Juan Astorga at Madison Square Garden
Middleweight John Duddy (28-1, 18 KOs) knocked Juan Astorga (14-4-1, 9 KOs) out after 1:55 of the first round of their fight in the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Straight after the quick fire win, the ring announcer told the crowd that Duddy would be fighting next on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao/Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13.
Duddy is sure to have a longer night’s work then, as he totally outclassed Astorga during their brief encounter.
Roared on by plenty of Irish fans, Duddy, in light green shorts, looked sharp and focused in the early exchanges.
The fight had barely started when Duddy threw a nice left hook that landed on Astorga, who looked nervous.
He had good reason to be, as shortly after Duddy landed a straight right hand to his head. After a delayed reaction, the Mexican took a knee and referee Wayne Kelly gave him a count.
Once he got up, Astorga’s body language suggested that his fight was done.
And it was a couple of seconds later, when a perfect left hook to the body from Duddy put the Missouri-based Mexican down again.
Referee Wayne Kelly started his count but immediately waved off the fight, giving "The Derry Destroyer" the 28th and arguably easiest win of his professional career.
"I got him right on the temple you know, and with temple shots there is a delayed reaction. I was surprised to see him go down, but I did hit him flush and it was a nice short right hand,” said Duddy after the fight.
Of the knockout punch, Duddy said that body shots were something that he had not been concentrating on in recent fights, but trainer Harry Keitt had encouraged him to go back to working on the body more.
“I hit him a couple of times to the body, and with that last left hook to the body I could hear the wind coming out of his lungs.
"It landed on the button, and once I saw him land on the canvas I knew he wasn't getting up again.
“I wish it has gone on longer but I was throwing my shots with a lot of determination.”
Duddy said that he did not know who he would face at Cowboys Stadium on March 13, but the 30-year-old is determined to make the most of his chance on the Pacquiao undercard.
"I don't know who I am fighting (on March 13), but I will be straight back into the gym on Monday with Harry (Keitt). I ain't stopping this train now. I am looking forward to it.
"Craig (Hamilton, Duddy's manager) will be working on my next opponent and whoever it is, bring him on."
Trainer Harry Keitt was delighted with his fighter's quick shift.
"He didn't show much because the fight was over so quick , but I am happy with how the fight went," said Keitt.
"The most important thing is that he was more relaxed than any time I have ever seem him. We had trained a long time for this fight; we have been in the gym since our last fight in October and all the hard work has paid off."
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