03 July 2008 – by Padraig Hoare
Talk of John Duddy moving down a division to light-middleweight has whetted the appetite of a potential rival, Jamie Moore.
Duddy (25-0, 17 KO) looked very impressive on his return to the ring last Saturday night in Boston with a points victory over the teak-tough Charles Howe.
Under the tutelage of new trainer Pat Burns, the Derryman had conspicuously tightened up his defence and jabbed to great effect on his way to a 100-90 victory on all three scorecards.
Afterwards, Pat Burns alluded to the fact that Duddy’s future may lie at light-middle, saying, “154 should be his optimal weight.”
This has alerted Jamie Moore (29-3, 20 KO), the no.1 contender to the European light-middleweight crown.
Ahead of his clash for the Irish light-middleweight title against Ciaran Healy (8-7-1, 2 KO) in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght on Saturday night, Moore told Irish-boxing.com in an exclusive that he would relish a fight with the Derry favourite.
The Salford-born Moore, who has strong Kilkenny heritage, said: “A fight between me and John at light-middle would be a superb contest. Let’ face it, the winner would have to be in contention for a world title shot.
“The two of us are in our primes, we both have world title aspirations and a face-off between us would generate huge interest in Ireland, Britain and America.
“I have a hell of a lot of respect for John. His fight against Walid Smichet didn’t go to plan but he showed the courage of a lion that night.
The performance against Howe at the weekend was just what he needed. He’s back in business. And anyone who knows me will tell you my courage and heart cannot be questioned. It has all the ingredients for a classic.
“I would love to fight John anywhere. How about the Garden or a stadium here in Ireland? John has proved time and again he can pull the crowds in. And I can tell you that the fans there would not forget me in a hurry.
“What boxing fan could not be excited about John Duddy and Jamie Moore in the same ring?”
Moore was speaking in the days before his clash on TV3, which is run by Tommy Egan Promotions. The “Fighter’s Fighter” has enlisted the expertise of famed nutritionist Kerry Kayes for his Irish television debut.
“I feel as strong as an ox. My shoulder is fully healed and I am hitting harder than ever, he enthused.
Preparations couldn’t have gone any better. The Irish fans are going to see me at optimum level on Saturday night. I’ll be looking to make a major statement. A knockout would be the perfect way of thanking the Irish public for taking to me.”
Tickets for Big Time Boxing on Saturday night in Tallaght are available from ticketmaster.ie