From a Full Court Press release:
NEW YORK (June 4, 2008) – Undefeated world middleweight contender “Ireland’s” John Duddy returns to the ring June 28 with a new head trainer in his corner, Pat Burns, in the 10-round main event against Charles Howe, headlining “Hassle In The Castle” at The Castle in Boston.
Duddy (24-0, 17 KOs), a native of County Derry in N. Ireland, lives and fights out of Queens, New York. He is rated No. 2 by the WBC and No. 3 by the WBO, as well as No. 5 by the WBA and No. 10 by the IBF. Burns trained Jermain Taylor to the world middleweight title. Howe (17-4-2, 9 KOs), fighting out of Ohio, is coming off of the only loss in his last 14 fights, dating back nearly eight years, to WBC USNBC champion Joey Gilbert in their title fight last September.
“We’re returning to Boston out of appreciation to all of his fans there,” Irish Ropes Promotions president Eddie McLoughlin said. “John has a lot of friends in Boston and he sold out The Castle 2 ½ years ago when he beat Julio Jean. There are a lot of Irish and Irish-Americans living there and we’ve received countless requests to return. We’re excited to be coming back on June 28 and John will be fighting for the first time with Pat Burns as his head trainer.”
I know I've never been terribly praising of Duddy in the past, but I admit fully to liking the guy a lot, just because he's very entertaining. I will also say that I'm quite interested to see if Pat Burns can take him to the next level; I don't think John has it in him to ever be a great defensive fighter -- I do think John has it in him to routinely provide exciting fights -- but he's got to get hit less, and a world-class trainer can help substantially in that regard.
Charles Howe is another can for Duddy so that he can stay undefeated, really. I'm not going to sugar coat that. But last time out, Duddy was thought to be fighting yet another can, too, and Walid Smichet won that fight according to many in press row, and he beat Duddy bloody in the process, opening a nasty gash. At 24-0 (17), Duddy and his advisors are smart to match him like this. He will get a title shot. He does have an attractive fanbase already. When he does fight for a title, he will not let it be a boring fight. Duddy and fighters like him will always have a spot in the sport, which is good. He's exciting.