A bell will toll ten times this Saturday at a major title elimination fight in memory of one of the victims of Bloody Sunday one of Northern Ireland’s bitterest days: Bloody Sunday.
The ringside bell will toll ten times when Derry's John Duddy who is based in New York, steps into the ring before 60,000 fans at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas against Julio Cesar Chavez Junior.
The commemoration will be in memory of Jackie Duddy, the uncle of John Duddy, who was killed on that fateful day aged just 17.
The young Northern Irish boxer had this to say about the planned tolling of the bell: “Bloody Sunday was never spoken about while I was growing up but Uncle Jack was also a boxer, I was named after him and he was one of the main reasons I became a boxer. It's great to see justice.”
He was referring to the recent report headed by Lord Saville into the day that laid the blame for the massacre squarely at the door of the British troops. Victims representatives commended the report as the initial report, the Widgery Report, attempted to blame the killings on the victims, alleging that they provoked the troops into firing shots.
The planned tolling of the bell before the match though already has attracted critics.
Columnist Jeff Powell, writing for the UK’s The Daily Mail has questioned the propriety of the US getting involved in a highly charged political issue and questioned whether or not the symbolic gesture is appropriate.
The tribute, noted the journalist, is usually only reserved for boxers who have passed away.
Northern Irish fans of the boxer, though, have leaped to the boxer’s defence, saying that the tolling of the bell is appropriate in light of the release of the Saville inquiry last week.