05 May 2008 – by Mark Doyle
John Duddys return to the ring will be a 10-rounder against Charles Howe at The Castle in Boston on June 28.
The undefeated Derry middleweight has been out of action since suffering serious cuts in his last outing, a laboured majority points win over Walid Smichet in February.
The bout with Howe, who has won 17 of his 23 professional bouts to date, is a significant one for Duddy in that it will be his first with new trainer Pat Burns, the man who masterminded Jermain Taylors ascent to the summit of the middleweight division.
Commenting on the fight, Duddys promoter, Irish Ropes boss Eddie McLoughlin said: Were returning to Boston out of appreciation to all of his fans there.
John has a lot of friends in Boston and he sold out The Castle two and a half years ago when he beat Julio Jean.
There are a lot of Irish and Irish-Americans living there and weve received countless requests to return.
Were excited to be coming back on June 28, especially as John will be fighting for the first time with Pat Burns as his head trainer.
Duddy, of course, is still angling for a bout with middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, whom he was supposed to fight this weekend until the cuts he sustained against Smichet decided otherwise.
However, Duddy, speaking exclusively to irish-boxing.com Duddy, is in a supremely confident mood ahead of his bout Howe, 17-4-2 (9).
The undefeated former amateur star, who is now being trained by Pat Burns, has been up at 6am for grueling 90 minute runs before hitting the gym at 11am for training and sparring. A final gym session then takes place from 4pm 5.30pm.
Duddy has been sparring with world ranked welterweight Andre Berto for speed and a host of light heavyweights for strength and power.
The fan favourite – on both sides of the Atlantic – also confirmed to irish-boxing.com that Top Rank supremo Bob Arum has been in constant touch with Irish Ropes regarding a shot at Pavlik.