John Duddy Hits the Stage

By Robert Ecksel on August 4, 2011
John Duddy Hits the Stage
When asked if he has regrets about retiring from boxing, Duddy replied, "Not yet."

John Duddy, the 32-year-old former middleweight contender from Derry, Ireland, is making the most of his post-boxing life. He’s working behind the bar at Kennedy’s on 57th Street in midtown Manhattan at night, and by day he’s pursuing an acting career.

The Derry Destroyer shocked the boxing world when he retired just weeks before a big fight with another Irish middleweight, Andy Lee, which was going to be broadcast on HBO.

“It was going to be one of the biggest Irish fights in decades,” Duddy, whose record was 29-2 with 18 KOs when he decided to call it quits, told the Daily News.

An offensive machine with defensive liabilities, Duddy always delivered, and if he wasn’t the middleweight sensation he was made out to be, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Duddy remembers punching the bag at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn one morning and asking himself, “What the hell am I doing here?”

Managerial difficulties, where those who claimed they loved him like a son treated him like a bank, and some questionable advice from “unofficial” advisers, soured Duddy on the sweet science.

He was always a good-looking kid. He was also bright and articulate. Now Duddy hopes to use those still intact qualities to further his acting career.

“I would love to pursue it,” he said. “It’s very intriguing, and it’s nice to be intimidated.”

Duddy had a cameo role in “Lights Out,” a boxing series on FX, and in February he portrayed middleweight Bobby Cassidy, a blood-and-guts contender in the 1960s and ‘70s, in a play called “Kid Shamrock” at the Atlantic Theater Company in Chelsea.   

When asked if he has regrets about retiring from boxing, Duddy replied, “Not yet.”

(Full article can be read here)

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