21 November 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Irish Ropes owner and co-founder Eddie McLoughlin has admitted that he has been left devastated by his split with Irelands John Duddy.
McLoughlin has managed Duddys career ever since the Derry man turned professional five years ago.
It was, for the most part, a hugely successful partnership and Duddy was on the verge of a shot at Verno Phillips IBF light-middleweight title this autumn but the bout was put on hold because of promoter Art Pelullos failure to secure a date on one of the major US television networks.
The idea, then, was for Duddy to fight Sam Hill on New York on November 21 in what would have been essentially be a tune-up fight for a world-title eliminator against Ronald Hearns in the early part of next year.
However, the undefeated 29-year-old last week pulled out of his scheduled bout with Hill and, according to McLoughlin, is now in the process of cancelling his contract with Irish Ropes, which still has two years to run.
“I was devastated when I got the call from his attorney, who told me that he had been hired by John Duddy to sever ties with me,” McLoughlin is quoted as saying in the Irish Daily Mail.
“I never saw it coming. We had the press conference for the fight with Sam Hill – and he went off to training camp.
“We had discussed the [Ronald] Hearns fight and even discussed money but – typical John – he didn’t want to talk too much about it; he just wanted to focus on one fight at a time.
“It’s very hard to take because up until his 17th fight, it was like a family situation because we did everything on handshake.
“I think he was disappointed with the world title fight with Verno Phillips falling through earlier this year. But you know it went so far and we hit a roadblock; the promoter couldn’t come up with a date and venue.”
Despite the fact that Duddy has become increasingly frustrated by his teams inability to secure him a world title shot, McLoughlin is standing by his record as his manager.
I think we did a good job with John, he argued. Hes ranked number four by the WBC, hes unbeaten and h was moving towards a world title opportunity.
I never thought it would come to this but , you know, hes no exception: you have these guys back-slapping and laughing at your jokes and telling you how great you are.