|John Duddy: "Yory Boy Campas is just another stepping stone"
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Sep 13, 2006)
Undefeated middleweight contender John Duddy, 17-0 (15), is set to take on his toughest task to date September 29th at Madison Square Garden when he faces off against the former world champion Yory Boy Campas, 88-8 (72), in a scheduled twelve round clash for the IBA World Middleweight Title. In his three years as a professional boxer the strong-armed Irishman who now resides in the Big Apple has awed the fight world with his aggressive style, banging out a spotless record and dropping all in his pathway with only two opponents surviving to the scorecards.
The twenty-seven year old power puncher broke out on the scene in late ’03 and pounded out nine straight knockout victories, ending seven in the opening round before going the distance against Patrick Thompson to win unanimously. In his quest thus far Duddy has laid some serious leather with first round show stopping wins over previously unbeaten fighters such as the then 7-0 Victor Paz, 16-0 Lenord Pierre, and he devoured the twenty-four fight veteran Shelby Pudwill in the opener in his first trip to the Garden, earning himself the WBC Continental Americas Middleweight strap. And after a seven round romp over Alfredo Cuevas where the brawler traded his aggression for pugilistic persistence he is ready for the ninety-six-fight veteran Luis Ramon (Yory Boy) Campas.
With his success the fire-fisted Irishman still remains humble and while training in the Poconos took the time out to speak to the Doghouse to hand out his thoughts on his upcoming match-up and his career, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off John thanks again for your time. Can you give us your thoughts on your upcoming fight against Yory Boy Campas?
John Duddy: I am very excited and looking forward to it, I think it is a great opportunity for me. The man is a living legend and had a great career but I think now that is it time for the torch to be passed and for me to step up and show everybody what I can do.
BH: What about a fight plan, do you feel your aggressive style could possibly overwhelm Campas early on in the fight?
JD: We are working on what we have always worked on, that pretty much is everything, using my jab and all, the usual aspects to improve on as a professional. I am younger and stronger and I think whatever Yory Boy brings to the table I will be capable of handling.
BH: What about all the attention you get from the press, you are a humble guy from what I have gotten from talking with you so this must be a bit odd, hey?
JD: It comes with the sport; it’s nice looking back on it. I don’t really read to much into it though. A lot of my family back home does, and it is good to know that a lot of people have great opinions on me, its fantastic and I am really enjoying it, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what I do inside the ring and once I get the job done I may relax a wee bit and enjoy it.
BH: What has been your toughest bout to date? I mean you have knocked out all but two of your opponents but surely somebody must have been tough?
JD: I thought that the last fight that I had [against Alfredo Cuevas] was a tough one, he had a lot more experience than me and I was the young bull coming to fight the old bull so to speak. He was expecting me to come out blazing the first few rounds and sort of burn myself out, they didn’t expect me to set back and work my jab and gradually wear him down and break him down and eventually stop him. The Yory Boy fight will not go so much the same way but I think there is going to be a lot more pluses in my game plan but I sure he thinks with me being younger and less experienced that he can carry me into deep waters and I will drown. Well, the deeper the waters gets the easier I can swim, so I think whatever he throws at me I will be prepared for.
BH: What about your progression, how much have you progressed in the past year or so of fighting?
JD: I think I improve with every fight, slowly but surely. I am always looking to better myself to step forward and I try to improve with every performance. I think everybody was shocked with my last fight, instead of being a brawler I was a boxer, I used me jab and moved me feet well and me head a lot more, I think it come to surprise to a lot of people they were kind of wondering what was going on. When I explained it to them I told them that this guy was a lot more experienced than me he went the distance with Jermain Taylor, you think I am going to go out and knock him out in one round? I think that would be pretty naive to think that, and I am pretty sure Yory Boy Campas isn’t going to go that way, I am going to have to use me brain and break him down and take him out later on.
BH: Do you feel like a win over Campas will be a defining moment, will it make a strong statement?
JD: I realize that Campas is probably the most recognized name this far and it will definitely put my face on a few more boxing magazines, but it just another stepping stone for the bigger picture at the end of the day. As long as I can get over this hurdle I am sure I will have stronger and steeper hurdles in the coming future.
BH: Your thoughts on the middleweight division and its major players?
JD: Everybody knows the champions in the division and hopefully someday I can be one of them, and that is a matter of time so hopefully if I keep on I will get a crack at them so to speak. I am still taking it one fight at a time, as long as I get the job done the 29th of September hopefully the show will go on and I will keep getting better and better and keep the momentum going and only God knows where we will be at this time next year.
BH: Anything in closing?
JD: I would like to thank all of my fans, it has been great you know, come September 29th I will give them a show.
I would like to thank Bob Trieger of Full Court Press for setting up another interview, and a thank you goes out to John Duddy for his time and thoughts.
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