JOHN DUDDY had contemplated retiring from boxing seven months ago after his soul-destroying defeat to Julio Chavez Jr. according to his manager, Craig Hamilton.
SIMON COLLINS reports
The New York based managerial advisor revealed that Duddy had been agonising over the most difficult decision of his 20 year boxing career following a series of gruelling battles last year which had wilted his passion for the sport, but it was in Texas last summer when the ‘fire burned out.’
Having been persuaded to postpone his retirement in light of the possibility of a fight with Andy Lee, Duddy reconsidered but sensationally opted to finally hang up his gloves this week when realising he no longer had the drive to compete at the highest level.
And Mr. Hamilton holds the view that Duddy got out of the sport at the right time, adding that he was happy with the Galliagh man’s decision to quit before getting into the ring with the Limerick man, despite the lucrative six figure purse involved.
“I’m glad John has come to this decision,” said Hamilton this week. “I have always seen my job in terms of giving him my best advice, getting him the best deals possible and getting him out of this sport in one piece. John has had a lot of exciting and hard fought fights in his career.
“Fighters can only absorb so many of those in a career. He’s in his early 30’s now and it is time to move on.
“The subject (retiring) actually came up first, immediately following John’s tough loss to Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. last June,” he revealed.
“The decision at that time was to put off any decision on his future. John did not want to make an emotional decision. He was coming off a series of tough fights in a relatively short period of time and needed time to rest and sort things out.
“At the end of last year when momentum was building for a potential fight with Andy Lee, the topic of renewing his career was again on the table. John felt he wanted to give it a go.
“But after resuming his boxing training for several weeks, John simply could not find the passion necessary to continue,” he added.
“Rather than put in a half-hearted effort which, he felt, would be unfair to the promoter, HBO and his many fans, John made a well thought out decision to retire.”
Hamilton praised the Derry man’s integrity to walk away from the sport now rather than picking up a final major pay day which he felt would have disrespected both the promoter of the fight and his fans.
“John gave everything he had in all of his fights. The same was true in his training regime. He retired because he knew he could no longer put forth that effort. To continue would have been unfair to his many supporters.
“There are few fighters who would walk away from the sport with the opportunity John had in front of him. He did not win a world title in boxing. He didn’t have to. John is a true ambassador for the sport he loves and a world class person.”