‘The Butcher Boy’ meets his near neighbour in an intriguing Clash of Cavan on the undercard of Eric Donovan vs Khalil El Hadri [13(7)-1(0)] live on TG4 this Saturday night.
The fact the former underage Cavan GAA teammates live in neighbouring villages and know each other extremely well has led to the bout being built as a parochial punch-up, with local pride said to be a core motivational factor for both.
Donegan has fueled that narrative by comparing it to a Drumgoon v Shercock GAA club match and revealing he fears being known in the locality as the ‘man who lost to a Shercock fighter’.
Duffy on the other hand says his focus isn’t on what the fight does for his local standing, but rather on what it can do for him nationally and where it places him in the Irish title picture.
“Pride wise? To be honest we are just striving for the best versions of ourselves. I don’t feel any pressure, the only pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“It’s a big opportunity for the two of us. Mark [Dunlop] was saying there are Irish title fights there for the winner and whoever loses can still get straight back out there.
“I want to push on for Irish titles, I want to become an Irish champion, they are my goals and this is just another fight to get me there.”
While the derby nature of the scrap doesn’t bring extra motivation or pressure, Duffy does point out it should add some spice and ensure entertainment.
“There is a bit more to it than just another fight, it’s quite local, there is plenty to the story and it’s going to be a big challenging fight. But these are the fights I’ve been asking for, for the last two or three years. There is a lot of pressure but this is what I’ve been looking for. I’m excited about the challenge and this will show me where I’m at,” he adds before suggesting their familiarity should breed fireworks.
“We’ve trained in the same club a number of times, my coach was his coach once upon a time, I have fought him in the amateurs as well. We both know each other pretty well, it’s going to be fireworks. There is plenty on the line for us, big opportunities. It’s one of the biggest fights for me in terms of where I want to go next so I’m not overlooking him.”