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Andy Lee vs. John Duddy on December 4th

Andy Lee John DuddyBy Jason Kim: A fight between Irish fringe middleweight contenders John Duddy and Andy Lee could be taking place on December 4th, according to boxing news from the Both Duddy and Lee’s management are interested in this bout and it’s a fight that kind of makes sense, since neither Duddy or Lee are likely going to be getting a shot at a title against any of the middleweight champions. Indeed, Duddy, 31, was recently dominated by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision loss in June.

For Duddy, that was his second loss in his last five bouts. He was defeated by fringe junior middleweight contender Billy Lyell last year in a 10 round decision loss in April 2009. Lee, 26, is trained by Emanuel Steward, but despite having a great trainer and excellent sparring partners, Lee hasn’t lived up to his potential. In 2008, Lee was stopped by slugger Bryan Vera in a 7th round TKO loss. Lee didn’t attempt to avenge that defeat, unfortunately.

Since that fight, Lee has taken on lesser punchers and has done well in winning his last eight fights. Sooner or later, Lee is going to have to be matched tough again and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to him when that time comes. At 6’2”, Lee looks very slender for the middleweight division. He can punch but he tends to fade around the midpoint of his fights and he doesn’t look good when he’s getting hit hard.

Lee should be able to beat Duddy without any problems as long as he can get Duddy out early. However, if this fight goes into the late rounds, it’s anyone’s guess who will win. Duddy isn’t a big puncher, but if he can connect with some hard shots he might be able to ring Lee’s bell and get him out of there in the same way that Vera did. This is a good match-up, because both Lee and Duddy are about the same in terms of talent and this could be about as high as they go in the division. Lee might get a shot at a title at some point if he keeps fighting 2nd tier opposition long enough, but I can’t see him ever winning a title.

And, of course, the same goes for Duddy. Before losing to Lyell and Chavez, Duddy had been matched against mostly B level fighters and had done reasonably well against them. If Duddy can somehow beat Lee, then his promoter can likely keep him winning long enough to get Duddy a title shot in a year or two as long as he keeps him away from any dangerous middleweight contenders.

With the fight on December 4th, presumably they’re putting it on that date thinking that it will be shown on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Chavez Jr. fight. But that fight doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now. Chavez Jr. may end up fighting someone like Pawel Wolak or Alfonzo Gomez. Either way, the Duddy-Lee fight might be a decent fight to be placed on the undercard.

Steward says “I believe it will take Andy closer to a world title shot. As far as I’m concerned, Andy is the best middleweight in the world. I want him to face the winner of the Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez WBC title fight in November.” That might be an interesting fight, but I think Lee would lose badly to either Williams or Martinez.

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