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Duddy in gym for Manny card

JOHN DUDDY, on a high following his stunning first-round disposal of Juan Astorga last weekend, was straight back in the gym on Monday to start preparing for his next outing.

That will be on the card for Manny Pacquiao's WBO welterweight title defence against Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas on March 13. An opponent has yet to be chosen.

In his best showing in over a year, the New York-based Derryman floored Astorga with a right to the head and dropped him again with a body punch, leading to the referee's intervention after one minute, 55 seconds.

"I wish it had gone on longer, but I was throwing my shots with a lot of determination," said Duddy, who improved his record to 28-1.

Talk of Duddy taking on Neil Sinclair in Belfast in March or April was dismissed by manager Craig Hamilton.

He said promoter Frank Warren had made the offer, but they were focusing on pursuing a shot at Kelly Pavlik's world middleweight title later in the year, if all goes well.

Getting a slot on the Pacquiao bill will ensure Duddy stays in the picture.

Meanwhile, Billy Lyell, the only boxer to beat Duddy, has landed an unexpected go at Sebastian Sylvester's IBF title in Germany tonight after the original challenger, Pablo Navascues, tested positive for a banned substance.