Duddy Free to Fight Again

John Duddy's return to the ring has been confirmed by the news that on Friday, Irish Ropes President Eddie McLoughlin withdrew his opposition to Duddy fighting, contingent on a percentage of profits from future bouts being put in escrow until Duddy's court action against Irish Ropes, Eddie McLoughlin and Tony McLoughlin for monetary damages is decided. As reported in last week's Irish Voice, Gary Friedman, Duddy's legal representative, filed a motion last Tuesday to preclude Irish Ropes from interfering with Duddy fighting. "Eddie McLoughlin withdrew his opposition to what we were seeking from the court," said Friedman Tuesday. "We filed papers with the court. We were asking the court for this relief. We had a hearing in front of the judge, and rather than putting in their opposition papers they relented and agreed to what we were seeking." This will allow Co. Derry native Duddy, who is flying back to the U.S. in the next week, to resume his boxing career. Friedman added that Duddy has stayed in shape and the 29-year-old and his advisor Craig Hamilton are looking at "several intriguing possibilities" for fights around St. Patrick's Day, and that a specific opponent might be finalized at the end of the week. On Sunday Thomas Hauser, respected boxing scribe and feature writer for boxing website www.secondsout.com, wrote a column over 5,000 words long entitled "The Truth About John Duddy," in which he details numerous instances where Duddy was allegedly shortchanged by Irish Ropes over the years. In the piece, Hauser carries out an in-depth analysis on a number of fights where Duddy's earning potential was not matched by the amount of money he was receiving for his efforts in the ring. He also highlights fights where Duddy did not receive the amount that his contract stipulated he should have. Among some of the discrepancies are: That Duddy decided to look in to the financial figures after a proposed fight with Verno Phillips, then IBF world light middleweight champion, fell through, even though the purses on offer for the subsequent fights against Sam Hill (that was scheduled for November 21) and Ronald Hearns (that was scheduled for January 17) were less, combined, than what he would have earned in the proposed deal for the world title fight. The piece also claimed that, according to the terms of Duddy's contract with Irish Ropes signed in April 2006, the minimum purse he would earn for fights in year one of his contract was $20,000; year two $50,000 and year three $75,000. Duddy was paid $20,000 for his fight against Charles Howe in June 2008. Hauser also claimed that Duddy's purses for the Campas fight in September 2006 and Bonsante fight in March 2007 ($20,000 and $40,0000 respectively) were significantly smaller than the gross receipt of ticket sales reported by Irish Ropes to the New York State Athletic Commission ($264,800 and $558,505 respectively). Hauser goes on to detail that Duddy's three-fight sojourn in Ireland didn't earn him a fortune, and how the purse of $60,000 against Walid Smichet in February 2008 did not tally with the amount his promotional contract states he should have earned, which would have been an amount closer to $200,000. In response to the agreement reached in court last Friday, McLoughlin told the Irish Voice on Tuesday, "I just stepped back. John has his team in place that he wants to be with and 30% percent will be put in to an escrow account from John's fights." When asked for comment on the Hauser article, McLoughlin said that he had not read the article but said he was much aware of the content of the piece. "People believe what they want to believe. It's not true. I never stole anything from John, 100%. I was honest and straight up with him," McLoughlin said. "Any time he wanted numbers he asked. There was nothing hidden, nothing under the table. They are saying I sold $200,000 worth of tickets for the Smichet show and that I never told (Duddy), but if you check the records it was printed in the Daily News that we sold the $200,000 worth of tickets," said McLoughlin. McLoughlin went on to add that he was confident that his own Irish Ropes St. Patrick's show would go ahead, that talks are going well with Manny Steward for Andy Lee, and that he hopes to see Walid Smichet in the other corner. He also added that he had no reason not to believe he would get his promotional license. "We have to get the 100 percent green light from the commission, which I verbally have so to speak, but everything is okay. I was talking to them this morning and everything is okay," said McLoughlin, who added that he had resolved his difference with Cedric Kushner and that Kushner had withdrawn his complaint from the commission. "I am going to do my show in Madison Square Garden on March 16. Everything is in place, I have agreed with Cedric, I have talked to the commission so I can tell you that our show will be going ahead," added McLoughlin. "Tell everybody to start getting ready for the March 16 show at the WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden that will be promoted by Irish Ropes. I am going out on a limb on that and if I am alive that will happen."

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