John Duddy: “Talk is cheap in this game”
INTERVIEW By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (March 1, 2006)  
Photo © Brendon Pierpaoli, DHB
Soft-spoken Irishman John Duddy, 15-0 (13), doesn’t look to gain fans by using his mouth, he doesn’t care to call anybody out or speak endlessly on his multiple talents. His talking is done in the ring and his comments are made with his fists, and the point has been made with the fans quickly getting behind the ‘Irish Train’.

The strong-armed undefeated middleweight sensation has taken the fight world by storm, tacking on the fans as he rolls through the competition applying his straight ahead, in-your-face style. Since stepping in the pro ranks September of ’03 Duddy has gone on a fifteen fight win streak that has left a strand of defeated foes behind him, with eight of his foes being defeated and deleted in the opening round.

Opening up 2004 with a bang the 3-0 Duddy took on ifteen fight veteran Ken Hock and laid a big hurt on his opponent, stopping him in four rounds, Months later Duddy disposed of the then undefeated Victor Paz in one round but came full swing taking on the hard hitting Lenord Pierre whacking him out in the opening round, giving the Haitian heavy hitter his first loss.

After laying the pain to six other opponents compiling four KO’s out of the six bouts, Duddy is set to take on Shelby Pudwill, 21-2-1 (9), on March 16th at Madison Square Garden in a fight card billed as ‘The Shamrock Express’. In the process of adding on another victory John will also be attempting to earn his first strap, the vacant WBC Intercontinental Americas Middleweight title to be exact, and with his talents and fast fists the twenty-six year old looks to continue his drive to the top.

The undefeated Irishman took the time out to speak to the Doghouse and gave his thoughts on his upcoming bout as well as his future, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: John first I would like to thank you once again for taking the time out to speak to the Doghouse, as always your time and thoughts are very much appreciated. How has your training been going for your upcoming bout?

John Duddy:
I am really excited with this show coming up at Madison Square Garden, I had a few day off since my last fight but I have been working in the gym and this week I will begin to start sparring. I think I will be one hundred percent better that what I wads in my last fight because I am feeling in great shape and I am enjoying me training and looking forward to me training, and whenever the coach wants me to step up I seem to be very capable of handling it, so I am really looking forward to it and ready to put on a great show.

BH: What can you tell us about Shelby Pudwill, and what type of fight are you expecting from your opponent?

We are trying to get a few tapes of him and we actually haven’t received them but hopefully we will get them in this week. I am training for a good hard ten rounds, me coach is always pushing me and helping me work on my mistakes and helping me to improve. I think as long as I am one hundred percent on the night I will leave it up to Shelby to be asking the questions and hopefully I will be able to answer them.

BH: You know the first time we spoke just a little over a year ago you had seven fights under your belt, now eight more to count on your record with some very impressive wins, especially when you walloped Lenord Pierre last March on ESPN. Looking back on the last eight bouts how would you grade your progress, and what statement do you feel you have made with those W’s?

I am not sure, I think I have improving as a fighter but me coach would be able to tell you better than me how much I have improved because I still feel that there is a lot of improvement that I need. I think that over the year that it is a clear statement that I’m improving that I am not just a one punch fighter and that I can go the rounds and that I have shown a steady progress of improving on my ability and using me jab more and moving me head. I just think that every time I step in the ring I am taking steps; maybe small steps but they have always been steps forward. I am progressing nicely; I have matured more as a professional fighter from the last time I talked to you because I felt more as an amateur in a professional sport. I have damn sure left my amateur days behind and there has been a steady progress and I am steady growing and I am looking forward to this year.

BH: What have you learned about yourself this past year or so?

I feel a lot more comfortable being in the sport and I think I realized that I have a talent and I chose the right sport when I was a kid. I am really enjoying the boxing, I think I am very fortunate and lucky to be in the position that I am and by no means has it been easy but the hard work I have been doing is paying off for me in the ring, and out of the ring as well, I have been getting a lot of exposure and coverage as well and I am enjoying my life as a professional fighter and I know it all comes down to the hard work, and that isn’t going to change and hopefully this time next year I will be as happy as I am now. I am just looking forward to this next fight and I am just taking another small step forward in the world of professional boxing.

BH: How has it been working with the McLoughlin brothers?

They have been working with promoters and getting me on shows we are getting a lot of promoters to work with and everywhere I go there seems to be a great amount of Irish boxing fans that are always there to support me. I let them look ahead on the long-term goals and I look at the short-term goals. I enjoy the McLoughlin’s, they look after me and they are always there, I think it has been a great experience and our relationship has grown from strength to strength.

BH: There are talks about a Ronald Wright versus Jermain Taylor clash in June of this year, what are your thoughts on that match-up and who do you see being the victor?

I don’t know, I am terrible at guessing fights, Taylor is a young and hungry champion and he is undefeated and he is the man to beat.

BH: You have told me before that you are an easy come easy go type of fellow, so I take it you will fight whomever is put in front of you, But my question to you is, if you had total control over your fight schedule whom would you like to climb in the ring with and why?

Ah I couldn’t tell you man, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I am very fortunate to have the people I have around me, they have a plan and an idea for me. People seem to forget that I have only thirteen fights in my professional career. Whenever I was starting off it was like John, who is John fighting next is he good enough, oh he is fighting Lenord Pierre he shouldn’t be fighting him or he shouldn’t have fought Victor Paz when he was 8-0 when I only had four fights and then when I beat them it is like when are you going to fight somebody credible and when are you going to fight somebody good and I am like holy $&#@ about four fights ago you were telling me not to fight this guy and not to fight that guy but I fought them, I don’t know, I will fight anybody that gets into the ring, that is my only goal to win every fight that I have, whether it be for a title or against somebody known or not known, I just keep looking forward learning as a fighter. Everything seems to falling into place, talk is cheap in this game.

BH: Is there anything in particular that you would like to add to this interview or say in closing?

I would like to say that my next fight will be a night to remember for a very long time, there are a lot of Irish fighters on the same card and it is the night before St. Patrick’s Day and it is my first chance to fight for a title and I am looking forward to it. There are a lot of people traveling over to the event, so if anybody is coming to New York that night come see the Irish Express.

I would like to thank Bob Trieger of Full Court Press for setting up another interview, and thanks to John Duddy once again for his time, it was greatly appreciated. To all the readers in Ireland, John wanted me to tell you hello and thanks for the support.
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