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Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. John Duddy Fight Preview and Prediction

by Scotty L, Predictem.com Boxing Handicapper

When: Saturday, June 26, 2010

Where: Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas

TV: PPV at 9:00 (EST)

Weight Class: Middleweights: 12 Rounds

Julio Cesar Chavez, 41-0-1 (30 KOs), Culiacan, Mexico. Vs. John Duddy, 29-1 (18 KOs), Derry, Northern Ireland/New York City, New York

Fight Odds: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (-350), John Duddy (+250)

Analysis: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will fight Irishman John Duddy in a 12-round middleweight bout on June 26—the main event of the Latin Fury PPV card. This is a difficult fight to handicap. After 72 combined fights with only one loss, we both know and don’t know exactly what we have with these fighters. Chavez is the son of a legend with the eye-popping record, but no one in boxing seems terribly excited about his prospects. Duddy, a once-touted prospect has stalled out lately and lost his former standing.

Often times, when a fighter has his back against the wall, a change of recent form can come about. Both men want to get people talking about them again and get some “heat” to go with their sparkling records. Truth be told, Chavez is not as good as his record might indicate. He did fairly well against neophytes and low-end journeymen on his way up. But even then he looked vulnerable, benefiting from some sympathetic officiating along the way. He went from a frail lightweight to a more rounded-out junior middleweight and was doing well for a while—stringing together some good performances. Then he flattened out considerably.

Once Chavez began fighting a higher class of journeymen/fringe contenders, he stopped improving. While winning, he struggled with a long line of fighters like Rey Sanchez, Jose Celaya, Matt Vanda, Tobia Loriga, and Luciano Cuello. Wins are wins, but he didn’t stand out as anything special. A true up-and-comer would have established more separation from this caliber of opponents. He looked better blasting out once-beaten Jason LeHoullier in one round in September, but then again disappointed in his ten-round win against Midwestern-fighter Troy Rowland two months later. He looks the part, he has the name, he has the record—and then you see him fight and you wonder what the problem is.

Duddy has issues of his own. Now 30, it’s fair to say his career has been a letdown and it’s becoming increasing problematic whether or not he will be able to turn it around. A win here would be a good start. It’s just that there appears to be some regression in his form. He created a bit of a stir as he ran out to an undefeated streak. His fights were exciting. As is often the case with crowd-pleasing punchers, their liabilities are often overlooked. Duddy suffers from the same things that have limited similarly styled fighters in the past—a lack of defense and the tendency to bleed.

When Duddy barely squeaked by ancient Howard Eastman, we looked the other way. Then he was pushed to the limit by decent but unexceptional Walid Smitchet in a gutsy 10-round win. A few fights later, he was beaten by 18-7 Billy Lyell. Lyell is a decent fighter, but was a gigantic underdog going into the fight. Since then, Duddy has won 3 straight. In his last bout, he won a close 10-round decision over Michael Medina. He looked formidable when he unloaded, but his defense and sharpness appeared to have deteriorated.

Scotty's Pick to Win: Even if Duddy has regressed a bit, he may just represent a jump in class for Chavez. He seems a lot more dangerous than any of the guys Chavez has fought recently. Chavez could improve, as he is now under the tutelage of esteemed trainer Freddie Roach. This is a difficult fight to handicap. Is it just a matter of time before Chavez gets beaten? Can he improve or is he what he is—a talented but terribly limited fighter? Is Duddy the force of old or is he finished? Is this a brilliant piece of matchmaking by Team Chavez for catching a big name like Duddy at just the right time?

I think you can answer, “yes” to all the above questions and be correct to varying degrees. I’m going to go out on a limb and project that we will see a revved-up and better Duddy on fight night. I think it will be a better fight than some think, as both men show a high-level of skill and spirit. I just think that a play on Duddy is a good value bet. He just might be the better fighter when you break it all down. If he can get his act together and come up with a good showing, he should be able to win a decision or take Chavez out late. Take the +250 on John Duddy to win.

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Each week, Big Scotty L makes picks on upcoming boxing matches in an attempt to make a punching bag out of his bookie. Scotty is a GREAT boxing handicapper who offers tremendous insight on the fights and his knowledge isn't just limited to boxing matches in the USA. He has a broad knowledge of international fights as well.

Follow Scotty each week as he previews the best fights of the week. These fight previews can be found in the center section of this page. Good luck!

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