The first Cavan pro since European title challenger Andy Murray makes his professional bow against the relatively unknown Antoni Hristov [0-1(1)-1] and would be expected to overcome the Bulgarian at Good Counsel GAA Club.
However, the light middleweight first timer isn’t taking anything for granted and is keen to ensure his first step along the pro road is successfully taken.
Duffy isn’t overly concerned about making a statement first time out and is more focused on making sure a dream night doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
“I am blessed, I’ve got over 100 plus people coming to my pro debut. People from Cavan, Kildare, Donegal, and Dublin – and I ain’t beginning my pro dream with a loss,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I am going to stick to the game plan given to me by coaches, don’t overthink or overcomplicate anything on the night. Do the basics right and come out with the victory.
“1-0. I am looking forward to it. It will be a night to remember.”
“I ain’t going to be looking for a knockout straight away when the bell goes. If the opportunity comes, it comes, but I plan on putting on a technical performance, try show off what l’ve learned to date.”
The 24-year-old, who boxed amateur out of the McMahon’s gym in Carrickmacross and then under Phil Sutcliffe at Crumlin BC, won the 2014 Irish Novice Championships with victory over current BUI Celtic welterweight Jay Byrne in the final – and in the recent weeks and months he has been trying to adapt to all things professional.
It’s proved a learning experience for the southpaw, but one he has enjoyed surrounded by some experienced fighters in the Celtic Warrior Gym.
“The amateur game is completely different. Your training is built more towards higher intensity in rounds as your only doing 3x3min rounds. Your goal is to, yes, land strong punches, but more of scoring and getting out of the way.”
“The pro game, training still is intense, but more so built around steadying up, slower pace, longer rounds, learning to plant the feet, picking your shots a lot more than unnecessarily throwing for the sake of looking busy, sitting into your shots, more head movement and so on.”
“It’s different but I’m loving training. I’ve learned a lot in such short space of time since turning pro and looking forward to showing it this weekend,” he added before reflecting on his first camp.
“I’m feeling good, weight is on point, I’m injury free. Tony and Barry are very happy with my progress since turning pro. I had a great camp for this fight, to be honest, with top quality spars. I’m surrounded by champions, positive and ambitious boxers in the Celtic Warriors gym which I think is a big thing when prepping for any fight.”
It’s all positive from the Shercock slugger, but he has now seen first hand the hardship a novice pro has to deal with.
Trying to train around the full time, selling tickets and self-promoting all add pressure and ensure the work-life balance isn’t stack in rest and fun’s favour.
“Being a pro at beginning ain’t no easy game. It’s not as straightforward as just training like people may think. It’s a full-time job of its own, but to fund all this you need a paying job on the side as well until you make the breakthrough with big fights.”
“It’s taking a risk but, hey, that’s what life’s all about. Nothing comes easy in life. I believe you need to take risks in life to progress and achieve what you want.
“In saying that, I’m loving every minute of it. And, all going well fingers crossed, I’ve a long successful future in the professional boxing game with Tony and Barry behind me.”