Duddy returns to form in unanimous decision

John Duddy’s inability to handle Walid Smichet in February cost him a shot at a world title opposite undefeated middleweight Kelly Pavlik. Nevertheless, it may have been a necessary evil in his progression.
It landed the undefeated middleweight in the capable hands of veteran trainer Patrick Burns, who has worked with champions such as Oscar De La Hoya, Jermain Taylor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
In their first fight together, Burns’ influence appeared to have an impact on the Maspeth resident. Duddy easily handled Charles Howe (17-9-5, 1 KO), winning all 10 rounds in a unanimous decision Saturday night at The Castle in Boston, MA.
“I made a point that I don’t have to be brave all of the time,” Duddy said. “Just because I can take a punch doesn’t mean I have to. I had trouble convincing myself. I proved that I can move my head a lot more.”
It was easily Duddy’s finest performance in recent memory. His defense, one area Burns had worked on, was improved upon since the shaky showing against Smichet. He boxed Howe instead of trading shots, and did let his hands go when the opportunity presented itself. The two worked on turns and pivots that Duddy (25-0, 17 KOs) had seldom incorporated in previous bouts.
“I was happy that he took a lot of things we’ve been working on in the gym and incorporated it into his fight,” Burns said. “First and foremost was staying in control of his emotions, and what I mean by that, John’s a warrior, and what I had noticed about John when he would get hit he would get in a scramble, always try to make that point up. He would get into these wars and what John needed to do was learn when to fight and when to move. I’ve only had him for one fight, and the gains he made were tremendous.”
“I have big plans and I’m still undefeated,” Duddy said. “I used my jab a lot tonight. I’m hoping to get a shot at a world title.”

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