Category: Archive

Duddy KOs coach Keitt

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Keitt’s replacement is Don Turner, a 50-year veteran whose last high profile fighter was heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield.
Keitt was told the news last Tuesday, four days after Duddy’s 20th pro victory, a 10-round unanimous points decision over Dupre Strickland in Manhattan in which the Derry Destroyer looked flat.
After the match, Keitt, who also trains 9-0 Arklow-born light middleweight James Moore, spoke of distractions and their effect on his star fighter.
“There’s been a lot of stuff going on,” he said. “But at the end of the day, [Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum doesn’t tell [Miguel] Cotto how to train.
Still, his release came like a bolt out of the blue.
“I don’t know what to say,” the stunned Keitt, who took Duddy from a 3-0 upstart to a world-ranked middleweight with a 20-0 ledger [15 KOs], told the Echo.
“I met with John and he told me they were trying something different. It was unexpected – it’s three and a half years of work down the drain.”
Duddy said that he was disappointed with the turn of events.
“It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my life,” the Queens-based contender said last Wednesday, hours before flying out to Dublin to announce his July 14 “homecoming.”
“I should have been putting on a better display in the last two fights. I wasn’t doing Harry justice — he was a fantastic coach. I need to reinvigorate myself. I was letting Harry down with my performance.”
Duddy promoter Eddie McLoughlin hinted that the move to replace Keitt, who himself took over from Duddy’s first trainer Dexter Emmanuel was purely business.
Said McLoughlin: “After three fights we made a decision to drop Dexter and hire Harry. Did it work? Yes. Did he make John a better boxer? Yes.
“Will this work? Time will tell.”
McLoughlin added that an attempt to pair Keitt with Turner had failed, hence the changing of the guard.
In addition to Duddy, Keitt has also lost Alo Kelly, the Westmeath light heavyweight whose pro debut has twice been delayed by injuries.
McLoughlin said the plan was for Duddy and Kelly to camp in the Poconos with Turner when the middleweight returns from Ireland next week.
A new addition to the Duddy camp will be famed conditioner Mackie Shilstone, who’s also worked with Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones, Jr., among other top fighters.
Although profiled in the 1999 documentary “On the Ropes,” Keitt remained one of boxing’s better kept secrets until he developed Duddy into the most exciting Irish fighter since Barry McGuigan.
Clan Duddy turned to him, three fights into Duddy’s pro career, for his smarts and experience garnered as a prot

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