Duddy closes on Phillips

04 July 2008 – by Mark Doyle

John Duddy looks almost certain to drop down a division to take on IBF light-middleweight champion Verno Phillips later this year.

The Derry native has campaigned at middleweight for the entirety of his professional career to date but his new trainer, Pat Burns, revealed after last month’s win over Charles Howe that he saw Duddy’s future at 154lbs.

Burns now appears to have gotten his way as speculation is rife that a bout with veteran Phillips has now been agreed and the pair will reportedly collide in either September or October, with Belfast’s Odyssey Arena emerging as a possible venue.

Duddy, who boasts a record of 25-0, had been expected to challenge Kelly Pavlik for his middleweight crown this year but his hopes of a summer showdown with The Ghost were dashed by the horrific cuts he sustained in his February outing against Walid Smichet.

That was viewed as a major setback for Duddy but it would appear that his long-held hopes of a world title shot are now set to be realised.

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