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Manfredo Jr. or McEwan could replace Duddy for bout against Andy Lee on 3/12

By Jim Dower: With John Duddy’s sudden retirement announcement made earlier today, middleweight contender Andy Lee now needs a replacement opponent for his March 12th bout on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk card in Connecticut. According to boxing news from Dan Rafael of ESPN, Lou Dibella, Lee’s promoter, is looking Peter Manfredo Jr. 37-6, 20 KO’s) or unbeaten Craig McEwan (19-0, 10 KO’s) to replace Duddy. Dibella has to speak to HBO about this, though, and see what they say.

Of the two, Manfredo has a lot more experience, power and is the more proven compared to McEwan. However, Manfredo has problems with speed and he can be hurt, as we saw in his 3rd round knockout loss to Sakio Bika in 2008. He would be an opponent that would be fairly easy for Lee to figure out. However, Lee has a weak chin and poor stamina as we saw in his 7th round TKO loss to Bryan Vega, and Manfredo Jr. might be a little too powerful for the risk. Lee had the perfect opponent in his original match-up with Duddy, who wasn’t a big puncher now was he particularly fast. McEwan is a slick fighter who specializes in moving around and making his opponents miss. Trained by Freddie Roach, McEwan is frustrating guy to fight. Lee could have a lot of problems against McEwan and this might be a fight where Lee won’t look good even if he wins.

Duddy is a popular fighter, and the loss of him is going to be a crushing blow for the Martinez-Dzinziruk fight card.

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