21 June 2010 – By Jonny Stapleton
The only Irish fighter to have fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has advised John Duddy to be as aggressive as possible against the man who stands between him and a world title shot.
Oisin Fagan got a birds eye view of the undefeated Mexican prospect, who Duddy fights in Texas this Saturday, when they meet in the MGM Grand in 2004.
The recently retired puncher was unlucky not to get the decision that night and believes if Duddy follows his example and drags the 24-year-old fighter into the trenches he could win the WBC world title eliminator.
Teak tough Fagan claims the former Irish amateur champion should approach the fight with a do or die attitude.
I’d tell John to be as aggressive as he possibly can and not to let Chavez set his feet. Chavez generates a bit of power when he can set himself up, so it’s good to keep him off balance. He didn’t like to be dragged into the trenches and John should try rough the kid up on the inside. John can cause him trouble, but needs to have a do-or-die attitude in there with Chavez, Fagan told The Mirror.
I think John can win but I think it will be a good tough fight. The thing that John has going for him is his aggressiveness and I think that’s why I was able to give Chavez trouble in our fight. He seemed to like to set things up, but I never gave him a chance and he didn’t respond well to being pressured.
Chavez himself seems to have endorsed Fagans view point. The fighter who has yet to taste defeat but is believed to be somewhat over rated admits he struggled with Gael Forces stormy approach.
My fight against Fagan was one of the toughest fights of my career,” he said.
“He was aggressive and very tough and I expect this fight with Duddy to be similar. However, that fight was a long time ago. I have improved much, since the Fagan fight and believe that I will be victorious.
Fagan believes he won that Mexican-Irish dual but was quick to stress the Mexican has talent and could cause Duddy problems.
He’s a tall kid – over 6 foot tall. I am only 5’6″, so he had a huge reach advantage over me. John isn’t as short as I am, but he’s not as tall as Chavez either, so he will be at a reach disadvantage also. Chavez also brings a nice left hook to the body and he’s quite tough. That said, I feel he’s a little slow and John can take advantage of that.
Fagan, who admitted to wanting to fight once more, claimed over 16,000 fanatical fans played a huge part in his defeat to the son of Mexicans favourite boxer Julio Cesar Chavez senior. The Irish pugilist believes he would have had to knock Chavez out twice to get a points win! However despite the fact Duddy will similarly be the lesser supported of the two as he fights in Chavezs second home San Antonio, Texas, he belives the all action Derry man will not face that problem.
I certainly feel that I was very unlucky in my fight with Chavez to be honest. I felt I was winning every round well. However, we fought at the MGM Grand on the undercard of an Eric Morales world title fight, so the crowd was predominantly Mexican – 16,000 strong. So, when I was knocking lumps out of Chavez, you could hear a pin drop, but then when he’d hit me wth a weak jab, the house nearly came down. Not to mention, the legend himself, Chavez Senior, accompanied him into the ring and that just riled the Mexican’s spirits to a whole new level.
So, the judges would have to be very brave men to score the fight for the outsider on such a big fight card. I had no chance of winning, unless I had knocked him out cold, which is often the way in boxing, when the well-promoted fighter brings in another tough fighter, just to raise his charge’s profile. I guess judges are only human afterall- they certainly don’t want to bite off the hand that feeds them and be ostracised from their peers for unpopular decisions, so many of them just go with the crowd.
The good thing is that although the crowd will be predominnatly Chavez, I think John is such a big draw in the USA, that there won’t be any funny business going on by the promoters about the outcome of the fight, which can have a big factor on many fights, whether in the USA, Britain or even here in Ireland.