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John Duddy retires from boxing, fight with Andy Lee off

John DuddyBy Jim Dower: It’s official, middleweight contender John Duddy has retired from boxing and his scheduled March 12th fight with Andy Lee is now off, according to news from Rte Sport. Duddy reportedly turned down $100,00 to fight the southpaw Lee. About his retirement, Duddy said “A great deal of soul searching..I give you my world, I will not come back.” Duddy was recently beaten by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last year by a lopsided 12 round decision in June. Duddy looked discouraged at times in the fight and took a great deal of punishment.

Duddy had won three fights going into the Chavez fight after having been beaten by the smallish junior middleweight fringe contender Billy Lyell in April 2009. The loss to Lyell really took the winds out of Duddy’s sails, as he was being considered for an eventual title shot against WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik at the time of the loss. That defeat was a huge setback for Duddy. He did, however, pick up a good win over contender Michael Median in March last year, beating him by a 10 round split decision on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight at the Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, But when Duddy was matched against Chavez, it was a make or break fight for him, and unfortunately Duddy didn’t have the skills to overcome Chavez’s superior hand speed and power.

With Duddy retiring, Lee is now without an opponent for the March 12th fight. The winner of the Duddy-Lee fight was supposed to be a potential opponent for WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez to fight. It would have been a good payday for Duddy had he gotten to that stage. However, Lee was heavily favored to beat Duddy and it would have taken a lot for Duddy to have pulled off a win.

Duddy said “I no longer have the enthusiasm and willingness to make the sacrifices that are necessary to honour the craft of prizefighting. I used to love going to the gym. Now it’s a chore. I wish I still had the hunger, but I don’t. The fire has burned out. And I know myself well enough to know that it won’t return.”

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