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Duddy driving on in New York

DERRY'S John Duddy continues his march towards a world middleweight title shot with an undemanding eight-rounder against Juan Astorga on tonight's world title bill at Madison Square Garden.

The Mexican has won 14, nine inside schedule, with three defeats and a draw. All of his losses were by stoppage, including an eighth-round dispatch by Ronald Hearns, son of the legendary Thomas 'Hit Man' Hearns.

Duddy's prestige took a knock last April when he was beaten by little-known Billy Lyell, but he was better on his return in October with a comfortable points win over Micho Munoz.

Berto Haiti shock

ANDRE Berto has pulled out of his WBC welterweight title defence against Shane Mosley, scheduled for next Saturday in Las Vegas, after losing several family members in the Haitian earthquake.

"I have seen the pain in my parents' eyes as they attempt to understand what has happened to our homeland," he said.

Florida-born Berto said he was relieved to learn, after two days without word, that his sister and her daughter had survived.

Harrison in hunt

AUDLEY Harrison is promising to make the most of his surprise bid for the European heavyweight title, held by Poland's Albert Sosnowski, at London's Alexandra Palace on April 9.

"I have enough time to get my preparations right so, no excuses, this is it," said the 38-year-old Londoner. "David Haye and the Klitschko brothers will be within my sights if I can get the victory."

Del's a lucky Boy

DEREK 'Del Boy' Chisora has landed a lucky shot at the British heavyweight title after a hand injury ruled Sam Sexton out of his February 13 challenge to Danny Williams.

"I wasn't expecting this chance, but I'll take it with both hands. Williams is a dangerous fighter, but this is a massive opportunity for me to become top man in Britain," said Chisora (11-0).

Quote of the week

"I'm sick of hearing about my weight. I guess I'm about 12st 10lbs and I would need to lose about two stone for a light-welterweight fight, but I'll do a few more weeks of training to compensate" -- Ricky Hatton, admitting he lets his weight pile on between fights, but insisting he'll be fit and ready for at least one more go.