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John Duddy

John Duddy / Andy Lee negotiations ongoing

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John Duddy

The management teams of middleweights John Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs) and Andy Lee (23-1, 18 KOs) are in negotiations for a possible fight between the U.S.-based Irish fighters.

“It’s a good matchup for both of us,” said Lee, who confirmed that both sides had more talks on Monday about the issue.
The 26-year-old said it was a good time for both men to fight each other at this stage in their careers, and that preferably he would like to see the fight go ahead in New York.

For now, Lee has left the subject of a fight with Duddy as something for both sets of managers to discuss as he has more pressing matters at hand.

The Irish Voice caught up with Limerick man as he finishes preparations for his Saturday night fight with Troy Lowry (27-10) at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

Lee took a few days off after his win over Michael Walker on September 17, but he has been doing some work over the past few days ahead of his second fight in two weeks.

Though Lee talked about remaining professional and has gone about his preparations in a focused manner, he conceded that this is a contest that he should not lose at this point in his career.

“Not to be disrespectful, but it is a fight I should win,” Lee said.

According to boxrec.com, Lowry is a 40-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota who is coming off five straight losses.  Lowry’s last fight was on July 17 against Dominic Wade when he was KO’ed in the first round by a body shot. 

Should Lee emerge victorious and unscathed, then the talks should intensify for a fight with Duddy.

The Irish Voice spoke to John Duddy’s manager, Craig Hamilton, on Tuesday to get his take on how the talks are going.

“Have I spoken to Emanuel Steward? Yes. Is there interest in the fight on both sides? Yes.  But right now there is no date, no venue and no promoter,” said Hamilton, adding that apart from confirming that the two had been in touch, there was nothing else of substance to add at the moment.

As Miguel Cotto pulled out of the December 4 fight at Madison Square Garden and is not expected to fight again until the first months of 2011, there was no fight card at Madison Square Garden on that date that the two could have been part of to begin with, as was reported recently.

When asked if the possible matchup could be a main event in its own right, Lee said that it could, pointing to the fact that Duddy has sold out the WaMu Theater at the Garden before and that the matchup of the two would capture the imagination of Irish fans and fight fans in New York. 

Answering the same question, Hamilton said that with the right promoter, promotion and advertising campaign the fight could work as a headliner in New York or in Northern Ireland.

Hamilton went on say that the Lee matchup is a possible “fight of interest” for Duddy, but that he was also working on a few other leads for his fighter. What he did confirm is that Duddy will be back in action come what may in 2010, probably in late November or early December.
The fighter himself, who took a break in the summer after his loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 26, has been working away to keep his conditioning in check so that when a fight is finalized he will be ready for camp.

Meanwhile, light middleweight Henry Coyle (11-2, 10 KOs) will fight Mustafah Johnson (8-7-1, 2 KOs) on Saturday night on the same card as Lee at the Horseshoe Casino in a contest scheduled for eight rounds.

“I have been training hard all summer,” Coyle told the Irish Voice on Monday.  “I’m ready to go.”

Coyle was meant to fight on September 18 but his original opponent dropped out, and though a stand in opponent was almost found, terms could not be agreed and the Mayo man decided to wait for this fight.

Coyle was last in action on May 29 when he defeated Marcus Luck at the same venue, and the 29-year-old is keen to get back in the ring. Father Gerry, who is on tour with 16 boxers from Geesala Boxing Club in California this week, will link up with his son and work in the corner with head trainer Sam Colonna on fight night.

Johnson is a durable 32-year-old from Indianapolis who is 3-2 for his last five fights and has gone the distance in all five. 

Finally, light welterweight Jamie "The Nuisance” Kavanagh (2-0) is back in action on Thursday night when he fights Ricardo Malfavon (0-2) at Club Nokia in Los Angeles in a contest scheduled for four rounds.

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