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John Duddy

Irish middleweight John Duddy to fight at MSG on October 10

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John Duddy

John Duddy and Irish Ropes settled their dispute last week, and the Derry middleweight will return to the ring on October 10 at Madison Square Garden.

Duddy (26-1), who is at home in Derry getting ready for his wedding to fiancée Grainne Coll next Sunday, will fight on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Lopez/Roger Mtagwa WBO super-bantamweight title fight.

The long running disagreement between the fighter and his former promoters Irish Ropes over earnings ended last week when the two parties reached an out of court settlement and signed a release.

“It’s settled. The details of the settlement are, there was some money put into an escrow account when John fought and the matter was settled for half of the escrow account. I don’t have the exact amount, but I can tell you that it was less than $20,000,” said Duddy management advisor Craig Hamilton last Thursday.

With the matter settled, every fight purse that Duddy earns from now on is his and his alone. The Derryman is a free agent and can negotiate a deal with any promoter he wishes to do business with.

“It is sad the way it all ended, but it is what it is and good luck to him. I wish him the best wherever he goes,” said Eddie McLoughlin on Monday.

“There was very little in there to being with. A lot less came out of it that what we had invested initially, but we are moving on,” continued McLoughlin.

Duddy, who has been staying in shape while in Ireland ahead of his pending nuptials, will return to New York in September to work with trainer Harry Keitt.

Duddy had been under the tutelage of Pat Burns for his last three fights, but decided to return to New York-based trainer Keitt over the summer.

“It was a decision that was more made by John. It was a comfort level thing. It had nothing to do with Pat Burns. It had to do with was John’s desire to train closer to the New York area and to the Poconos area. It was made more along that line and was no reflection on Pat whatsoever,” said Hamilton.

Keitt is once again head trainer and will bring in whatever team he deems best to guide Duddy as he kickstarts his career on a Top Rank promotion in the fall.

“We haven't worked on an opponent for John but he will fight on the show on October 10,” added Hamilton.

When asked what kind of an opponent Duddy would face, Hamilton was realistic.

“He's going to be on the undercard so it there is not going to be room for a top flight opponent. There is not going to be room and there is not going to be the money. It’s going to be an opponent. That is my best way of putting it.”

Hamilton went on to say that with the extra pressure of a wedding to contend with, the camp decided that the smartest thing to do would be to postpone his ring return until Duddy was married.

The October 10 fight will be a chance to take a look at how Duddy fares in his first fight after losing to Billy Lyell in April.

“His fight back will be at middleweight,” said Hamilton, who added that Duddy could easily campaign in the junior middleweight division.

“I can’t do much more than bring him back into this fight. We’ll see how he comes out of it; see if he comes out of it with any cuts; evaluate it performance-wise and take it from there.”

Though Duddy undoubtedly lost some momentum by losing to Lyell in Newark on April 24, Hamilton has no doubt that his fighter’s stock remains high.

“Top Rank had a full card and was perfectly willing to open it up to put John on it. John is known to be a good ticket seller, and if you can sell tickets there are not going to be too many promoters who would not want you on the show,” said Hamilton.

That said, Hamilton did acknowledge that Newark might not have been the best destination for a Duddy fight, as was the case with the Lyell fight in April, and that the 30-year-old is a proven ticket seller in the New York area. 

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