Duddy’s Irish date goes live in US

JOHN DUDDY’S first professional fight on Irish soil is to be televised live on US television.

Unbeaten Duddy (20-0, 15 KOs), the New York-based middleweight contender from Derry, has a 10-round headline bout against Alessio Furlan (19-8-5, 8 KOs), of Italy at the National Stadium on July 14.

Television distribution for the fight, which is being broadcast in Ireland by RTÉ, has been secured by Integrated Sports, which will make the contest available on a variety of pay-per-view cable networks.

IBA and WBC Continental Americas middleweight champion Duddy, ranked No. 6 by the WBO, as well as No. 9 by the WBA, No. 10 by the IBF and No. 11 by the WBC, is a firm favourite among US boxing fans and the US media, and Integrated Sports president Doug Jacobs said: “John’s going to put on a great show fighting in Ireland for the first time as a pro.

“The middleweight division is the hottest in boxing and John is one of its brightest young stars. He’s built a tremendous fan base in the US and we want to give them an opportunity to watch Duddy’s fight live from Dublin.”

Jacobs added that Integrated wanted to televise all of Duddy’s planned fights in Europe this year.

“If everything goes as planned, John’s next two or three fights will be over there, culminating with a European title bout, and we plan to broadcast all of them back to his growing legion of fans in America.”

Duddy, who lives in Queens, New York and works with trainer Harry Keitt at the legendary Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn, has returned to the US after a promotional tour in Ireland and has gone into training camp in the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania.

His last fight was a 10-round points win over American Dupre Strickland in New York on May 18.

Meanwhile promoter Dennis Hobson has offered Floyd Mayweather £5 million (€3.7 million) to fight Ricky Hatton in Britain later this year. Mayweather says he is willing to come out of retirement to fight Manchester’s light welterweight champion.

However, Hatton’s former promoter Frank Warren claims he could promote some of his future fights after settling his libel row with the fighter’s father.

Warren agreed an out-of-court settlement with Ray Hatton after deciding to sue him for comments he made in a radio interview in 2005. “Ray and I have agreed that we’ll sit down when he gets back from Las Vegas to discuss future fights for Ricky,” said Warren.

Hatton, who split with Warren two years ago, has just finished a three-fight deal with Hobson.

Oscar de le Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Don King are also both believed to have approached the unbeaten Hatton, who made it 43 wins out of 43 by stopping Mexico’s Jose Luis Castillo last weekend.

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