It's put up or shut up time, big time, for John Duddy, the Derry Destroyer.
The popular Irishman, who has built up a solid fanbase in his transplanted homebase, New York City, will take on his stiffest test on January 17. Duddy will meet the son of the Hitman, Ronald Hearns, in a fight to be televised on HBO's Boxing After Dark.
Duddy holds a 25-0 record, and first has to get past 17-9 Sam Hill in NYC on Nov. 21st. Hearns is coming off a win on Oct. 24, against a sub journeyman, and he holds a 21-0 record. His foes have been less threatening than Duddy's, so the jury is still out on him.
Both men are 29 years old, and the winner would be granted a junior middleweight title shot ASAP after the victory.
The co-feature for the BAD show is another tasty matchup pitting two prospects who haven't been thoroughly vetted to this point. NYC's Peter Quillin has feasted on mostly journeymen and carpenters, guys who help a prospect build a record, and is 21-0. The 25-year-old is perhaps best known for tossing chocolates into the crowd after his wins. "Kid Chocolate" will tussle with another son of a standout pro, one Buddy McGirt Jr. Buddy's kid, age 25, is 19-1. He faces a stay sharp foe on Nov. 11 in Florida. In his previous step-up outing, he took a TKO7 loss on the chin to Carlos DeLeon Jr in April.
Have at it TSS Universe, especially you New York fightwatchers and gym rats. Which of these prospects will emerge as bonafide contender on January 17, and which will slide back further in the pack?
SPEEDBAG It looks like Versus will televise the finale for the latest installment of The Contender. Set the DVR for Feb. 26, or set your vehicle GPS for the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut.