14 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
The Irish Civil War clash between the Derry Destroyer John Duddy and the Limerick Assassin Andy Lee has finally been confirmed for March 12.
The mouth watering all Ireland clash will take place on the undercard of Sergio Martinez – Sergei Dzinziruk WBC world middleweight meeting at Foxwoods Resort Casino in the United States.
The biggest domestic dust up in recent history kicks off an historic St Patricks week for Irish boxing as it takes place just seven days before both Willie Casey and Brian Magee challenge for world titles.
The Irish showdown, which was failed to materialise despite positive talks on numerous occasions last year, will be the chief support bout on the exciting card. And the victor is rumoured to get a shot at the winner of the Sergio Martinez – Sergei Dzinziruks World title dust up.
Lees trainer Emanuel Steward, is excited about the crossroads fight and believes the bout will be an epic that is certain to go down in Irish boxing folklore.
Legendary trainer Steward said after a deal for the fight was signed. I am very excited about the fight; it has drama and edge written all over it. It will be a memorable fight for Irish boxing fans that will go down in Irish boxing history as a classic. I think for both men its a huge fight at this stage of their careers and I believe Andy will be the victor and this will result in him challenging for a world title in 2011.
It has all the ingredients for an epic and classic battle. Styles make fights and the contrasting styles of Lee and Duddy are very evident. Andy is a technical boxer who carries a lethal punch and John is a courageous ring warrior who likes a bloody war. Both fighters have plenty of heart and can fight in the trenches when the going gets tough, it will make an unbelievable fight.
Both fighters are now at crossroads in their careers, Lee(24-1) is moving in the direction of a world title challenge and Duddy (29-2) after losing to Julio Chavez Jr in June 2010 is looking for a fight that will bring him redemption and rejuvenate his world title prospects.
As a result there is more at stake than just Irish pride and the right to call yourself the number one Irish middleweight come March 12. Limerick southpaw Lee believes the fight that will divide Irish fight fans is a winner takes all battle.
The stakes are stacked high and neither fighter can afford to lose. It is a defining moment in our careers, Lee explained.
It is an Irish High Noon Shootout a winner takes all fight, where both fighters will be 100 per cent fired up for battle with their reputations and careers on the line and with the winner taking home more than his fight purse.
I want to make my mark this year in boxing, I turn 27 in June and have five years and 25 fights under my belt as a pro now. I want to move from fringe contender into a World Champion in 2011.