FOURTEEN-YEAR old Derry kickboxer Damien Duddy will attempt to make history on Sunday when he meets Galway’s Jason Ward for the inaugural Full Contact ISKA Junior Irish title belt in Glenview Community Centre.
The young PT’s Kickboxer only took up what is one of Ireland’s fastest growing sports in 2008 but has made such rapid progress that his coach, Michael Dunn, believes he is ready to continue Derry’s recent success and follow in the foot steps of three-time Professional World Champions Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley.
“Damien is a very well mannered student and an absolute pleasure to teach,” explained Dunn.
“He trains five nights a week and never misses training. Damien is a very dedicated and talented student and it shows in his performances at every tournament he competes in.”
Dunn said Damien has come along since his first tournament, held in Carrickmacross back in February 20008. The young fighter lost on that debut performance but his obvious potential shone through the next time he stepped into the ring when he took home a gold medal after knocking his opponent out in his second tournament in Larne.
“Since those early days, Damien has fought in countless tournaments and shows, he is a very impressive fighter to watch which makes me so proud to be his coach,” adds Dunn.
“He is very light on his feet, fast with his legs and has very good movement. He is a great tactician and is always outsmarting his opponents which is what has led him to this title fight. He has a genuine love for the sport and always comes out smiling. Hopefully that will continue on Sunday.”
The title fight tops what is a packed bill of underage and exhibition bouts and the programme has received a lot support from the local community, from Counsellor Maeve McLaughlin and from the Glenview community Centre.
Michael Dunn also paid tribute to Sensei Paddy Toland who he said had been there every step of the way, supporting the young generation of kickboxing and to the local business community and the parents of the kids competing.
Doors open in the Glenview Community Centre on Sunday (April 29th) at 1.00pm with the first fight scheduled to start at 2.00pm. Tickets are £8 and can be purchased at the Community Centre and include a disco and buffet which will take place after the show.