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Steward says the Duddy vs. Lee winner will face Sergio Martinez next

By Michael Lieberman: Trainer Emanuel Steward says that the winner of the March 12th bout between his fighter middleweight contender Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KO’s) and fringe middleweight contender John Duddy (29-2, 18 KO’s) will be facing World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio Martinez next, according to the latest news. Lee, 26, was supposed have been selected to fight Martinez this time around, but HBO didn’t like the idea of a fight between Lee and Martinez. Instead, the preferred the match-up between Martinez and unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion Sergeii Dzinziruk as the better fight.

In an article at, Steward said “I am 80% certain Andy and John will meet on March 12th. Andy was meant to challenge Martinez for the world title but Martinez was forced to take on the mandatory challenger. Now Andy will fight Duddy and it looks like the winner will then get to fight Martinez, who is the biggest name in the middleweight division or Dzinziruk depending who wins their fight. Andy Lee is the most logical challenger for a middleweight world title. John Duddy is also a big name in America but he is not respected as he once was.”

I’m not sure that Duddy was ever really respected by boxing fans. As far as I can tell, Duddy has always been seen as a club-type fighter, someone that works hard but doesn’t have great skills or power. He’s never been seen as a threat to champions like former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Lee also is someone that isn’t that well thought of by boxing fans. Lee had a brief moment in 2007 and early 2008, when some boxing fans thought he might possibly have the talent to win a title. However, those hopes were put down when Lee was taken out by Bryan Vera in a 7th round TKO in March 2008.

Lee has done very little since then, winning his last nine fights against nothing but 2nd tier opponents. It’s good that Steward is finally matching Lee against the fringe contender Duddy, but it’s bad that Lee hasn’t been put in with better fighters than Duddy, because he really needed to have been fighting a lot better opponents than Duddy a long time ago. Even if he does beat Duddy, Lee has no chance against Martinez. Lee is just a shade better than Duddy in my book, and he doesn’t match up with Martinez.

Steward says “Andy will beat John and will then go on to defeat Martinez…Andy will be middleweight champion of the world.”

Steward also said that Lee would beat Pavlik in the past, but then Lee turned around and got whipped by Vera.

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