Working behind a steady left jab, the Derry Destroyer outboxed his man for nine rounds before the heavily tattooed Vanda, nick-named “The Pretender” went for broke in the final stanza.
There were shades of Duddy vs. Walid Smichet in those last three minutes as Duddy caught some big punches that had a chorus of “Ohs” and “Ahs” cascading from the crowd. Duddy, however, weathered the sudden tempest and emerged unscathed and victorious despite losing the round on all three cards.
Judges Robin Lederman and Robin Taylor both scored it 99-91 or 10 rounds to one in his favor, while John Signorelli raised eyebrows with his 97-93 card that generously gave Vanda rounds six and seven, in addition to the tenth.
The Echo had Duddy, who stretched his unbeaten record to 26-0 [17 KOs], winning 99-91. Vanda dropped to 39-8 [22 KOs].
Ranked second in the world by the WBO Duddy, rated his performance a seven on a scale of one to ten. Miami-based trainer Pat Burns, in his second fight with the Irishman, gave him a ‘B’ grade.
“I was better than last February,” said Duddy, alluding to his perilous win over Smichet in his last MSG outing a year ago. “The fact that I was moving my head is a big improvement from last February.”
Indeed, this was — until the tenth round at least — a less hittable, more mobile and more composed Duddy who after a recent reputation as a bleeder left the ring with nary a scratch.
& nbsp; “Matt was probably expecting me to come charging but I didn’t,” said Duddy, who was credited with connecting on 158 of some 449 jabs thrown, against 87 from 277 by his Minnesota opponent.
The result was that the fireworks both had promised didn’t happen until the last round when Vanda, evidently aware that only a knockout could save him, opened up.
At any rate, Duddy’s ferrous chin and skin both held out before he fended off Vanda’s offensive with some hard shots of his own.
Asked what happened in the tenth, Duddy replied: “I just stood there instead of throwing the jab. He never hurt me. I hurt him a few times. He’s a true pro.”
Burns said Duddy got lazy at the end and hence Vanda’s assault.
“I’ll make him pay the price for that last round,” the former Marine joked.
Overall, the trainer was pleased with his charge’s performance. “I liked a couple of times when he got hit he didn’t slug it out. It’s about hitting and not getting hit,” Burns stressed.