Boxing: Chavez bout in doubt but Duddy insists he's 'ready to fight anyone'
DERRY puncher John Duddy could get a world middleweight title fight against Kelly Pavlik, the American who holds the WBC and WBO belts, before the end of the year.
But first he may have to beat the Mexican contender Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, who has won all his 41 fights, 30 either by knockouts or stoppages, but who is at present out of action with a suspension until late June for taking the banned drug furosemide because, he claims, he wanted to lose weight.
New York promoter Bob Arum had originally planned to put on a Duddy-Chavez eliminator for Pavlik's titles at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on June 5. However, he was forced to change his arrangements when the Mexican was brought before the Nevada Commission on the drug charges following his win over Troy Rowland last November.
Chavez, 24 last month and a son of the Mexican legend of the same name, told the commission in December he was not aware of the serious consequences of taking the drug. He was suspended for seven months, fined $10,000 and the fight result changed to a no-decision. The ban is expected to be lifted in mid-June -- certainly not before June 5.
"We are going ahead with the June 5 show as planned, headlined by the Yuri Foreman-Miguel Angel Cotto fight for the WBA world middleweight title," said Arum in New York yesterday. "But Duddy and Chavez will certainly get it together later in the year and we can take it from there. Both boxers have big followings, and we are anxious to get it on."
There will be a spot, however, against an unnamed opponent on the June 5 card for Duddy, who outpointed another Mexican, Michael Medina, last weekend on the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua world welterweight title fight show in Texas. It was the Derry Destroyer's 29th win in 30 fights.
"I'm ready for anybody Bob Arum cares to name for June 5," said Duddy. "It's unfortunate that Chavez will not be ready because of the ban as Arum wants to make that fight and we both are big draws, me with the Irish following and him with his Mexican fans. Hopefully it can take place after June. Anyway, I'm ready for him.
- NEW EU superbantamweight champion Paul Hyland, youngest of three boxing brothers from Tallaght, is now anxious to challenge for the European Championship proper.
- BELFAST'S Martin Lindsay, unbeaten in 15, should make it 16 and keep his British featherweight title against Welshman Jamie Arthur in Lancashire on Friday.