John Duddy has been delighting sell out crowds with his punching skills again, but only as an actor in the off-Broadway production “Kid Shamrock” and is adamant he will not reverse his retirement decision.
The popular New York based Derry man hung up his gloves earlier this year just days after signing to fight fellow Irish middleweight Andy Lee on St Patrick’s week for a six figure sum.
At just 32 many predicted the all action hero would one day return to the squared circle and it seems he has, but unfortunately for fight fans Duddy now throws his punches on stage and not in sold out fighting arenas.
The Derry Destroyer has enjoyed his role as a fighter in the play billed as ‘The heart-wrenching and inspiring true story of middleweight contender “Irish” Bobby Cassidy’, but is adamant he will not lace up his gloves for ring action again.
Duddy, who was a massive draw across the Atlantic and delighted fans with his direct and physical approach, is content with what he has achieved in the sport and is now focusing on a new challenge.
“I have closed that chapter in my life. When I made that decision it was a final decision and I am truly finished with being a fighter,” Duddy explained. “The sport will always be with me, but I have had my time in the sun. I have fought on main events four times in Madison Square Garden Theatre. I fought in the big arena five times. I fought at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas. I achieved a lot more than I ever thought I would. I am happy with my career and it is time to move on to the next level. I never look back,” Duddy told boxingscene.
“I am 32 years old. I gave 22 years of my life to boxing. That is a lot of time. I gave the sport the attention it deserved. I put in the effort and time. It will be nice to write a new chapter of my life now.”
Acting seems to be part of that new chapter and although it present less of a chance of injury, Duddy believes the sweet science and the art of acting do have similarities.
“It is the same nerves and same adrenaline. It is a little bit different in terms of people are not trying to take your head off, but it same in terms of having to work at your craft. I didn’t call myself a professional fighter until I had the Yuri Boy Campos fight under my belt so I am not going to call myself an actor just yet. I am enjoying it and it fills a void.”