Duddy Retires; McEwan to Step In?
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Jan 18, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
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In what came as a bit of a shocker on Tuesday afternoon, John Duddy, who was slated to face Andy Lee in an all-Irish match-up on March 12th at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT., suddenly called it quits. He released this statement: “After a great deal of soul-searching, I have decided to retire from boxing. I no longer have the enthusiasm and willingness to make the sacrifices that are necessary to honor the craft of prizefighting. I used to love going to the gym. Now it’s a chore. I wish I still had the hunger, but I don’t. The fire has burned out. And I know myself well enough to know that it won’t return…I give you my word, I will not come back.”

Promoter Lou DiBella, who is running that show that features the middleweight championship main event between Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk, said of the surprising turn of events, "I've known the kid since he was a young fighter. I did a number of his early fights and he's a guy with a tremendous sense of honor and that he didn't want to perpetrate a fraud on the public and on HBO and that he's retiring because he didn't have the fire, speaks a lot about his character. It would've been easy for him to take the money and run. But what he did, frankly, was an admirable thing.

"So even though it has me scampering for a fight, as a person, I have nothing but respect for him and I wish him all the best. Because if you don't have the fire, you don't have the desire, then you shouldn't walk into the ring."

Moving forward, DiBella, who basically insisted on Lee-Duddy opening up the HBO telecast because of their ability to bring some people into the tent, is now searching for a reasonable facsimile of that fight.

"Here's what I'm looking at," DiBella said to Maxboxing, "Craig McEwan. He's Scottish; an Irish kid against a Scottish kid on St. Patty's Day [weekend] is great. And McEwan's trained by Freddie Roach. He's been at Wild Card; he's 19-0, undefeated. Both Andy and McEwan were great amateurs so I think it's a terrific fight. So obviously, all this just happened; I have to talk to HBO."

Now, if it seems like DiBella is going purely for the ethnic angle…well, he is.

"I scoured what was out there and McEwan is the fight that makes the most sense and so I'm hoping we can get that done," he said.

McEwan is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. Richard Schaefer confirmed to Maxboxing that they had spoken to DiBella regarding this fight and have passed on the offer to McEwan's manager Billy Keane. It's believed that all that is needed at this point to make this fight a reality is the blessing of Roach, who is currently in Mexico working with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

FLOODED

I had a short chat with Schaefer and he informed me that while nothing has been finalized regarding the March 5th bout at the Honda Center in Anaheim featuring Saul “Blake Griffin” Alvarez (although, for all intents and purposes, it looks like it will be Mathew Hatton), the proposed lightweight tilt between Michael Katsidis and Robert Guerrero will not take place on that HBO card.

Schaefer explained that because of the floods that have ravaged Australia and particularly Katsidis' home region of Toowoomba, Katsidis simply would not be ready to fight on that date. Golden Boy will now attempt to move that fight to their April 9th pay-per-view card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The focus now is trying to make a fight between Cincy prospect Adrian Broner (who was recently featured by our very own Gabe Montoya) and the resurgent Jason Litzau.

SANCTIONING BODY WORK

With the WBC basically stripping “Maravilla” (who is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing) of their middleweight title and naming him “Emeritus Champion,” it meant that interim beltholder, Sebastian Zbik is now the full-fledged champion (I can just hear the purists hyperventilating now). But what it really does is give Chavez Jr. a free path to winning this belt in the spring after his January 29th bout with Billy Lyell.

Jose Sulaiman, he's still got it.

Meanwhile, IBF junior featherweight titlist Steve Molitor was scheduled to face Taklani Ndlovu for a third time as the opening bout on Showtime's March 19th telecast (which features Lucian Bute) but because Top Rank was not able to stage that bout within 90 days of the purse bid, another purse bid was held and this time Branco Sports Productions won the right to stage this fight with a bid of $320,000.

Now, this fight will most likely take place in South Africa but I'm hearing that it's not the worst thing in the world for Molitor, who is now in line to make significantly more money.

30 FOR 30

Don't know about you fine folks but I was a huge fan of the “30 for 30” series on ESPN. Well, if you go here: http://proxy.espn.go.com/sportsnation/rank?versionId=1&listId=893, you can vote for your favorite episode.

Not surprisingly, “The U,” featuring the swashbuckling Miami Hurricanes of the ‘80s, is on top.

My personal top five was: 1) “The U,” 2) “Pony Excess,” 3) “The Best that Never Was” (Marcus Dupree), 4) “June 17th, 1994” and 5) “The Band that Wouldn't Die.”

My bottom three: “Marion Jones” “Straight Outta L.A.” and “One Night in Vegas.”

BLAKE GRIFFIN FLURRIES

Seriously, you have to hand it to Jason “Lazarus” Litzau. He is on a nice run, currently...Hearing that Vanes Martirosyan is a scratch for the Feb. 5th “Top Rank Live” show in Maywood, California...Just my opinion but a fight between Winky Wright (yes, he's back) and Matthew Macklin is probably a much better fit and bigger event in Ireland than it is on a pay-per-view undercard in the States (like it is for April 9th)...Negotiations for a fight between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz are moving along. Lou DiBella says he will make every attempt to have this fight in So Cal. Let's be honest; if there is a guy who can sell a ticket or two here, it's Ortiz. My preference is the Home Depot Center in Carson. Yeah, I can't lie; that's my favorite local venue...Has Carmelo Anthony been traded yet?...The final season of “Friday Night Lights” has been incredible...

I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.

* Special Thanks To MaxBoxing.

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