John Duddy Defeats Jorge Munoz
And Other Results From Island Warriors Undercard

By Tim Donaldson

John Duddy had a lot to prove at Madison Square Garden after his loss last April to Billy Lyell. To be honest, I thought they would give him an easy opponent, someone who would do just enough to make Duddy look good. However, Jorge Munoz did not come to simply make Duddy look good. Although Munoz barely won a round, he still proved to be competition for Duddy.

Duddy and Munoz looked to be closely matched in the first round. Duddy managed to land more than Munoz, and even knocked Munoz off balance. The second round saw Duddy controlling the round. He was doing a better job of taking advantage of openings than Munoz. But in the third round, Munoz became more aggressive. He landed a shot on the nose of Duddy, causing it to bleed. Duddy still stayed patient, sticking to his fight plan and winning the round.

Munoz tried to adjust his strategy in the fourth, and he was doing better with counter punching. Even when being hit, Munoz just kept coming. It looked like there might be a change in the momentum of the fight. Duddy was slowing down. But again, Duddy won the round. Duddy was still looking tired in the fifth, but he was landing more than Munoz. Munoz never backed away the entire fight. In the sixth, Duddy looked much more aggressive than he had. Even still, Munoz kept coming. The seventh and eighth rounds looked much the same. Munoz proved that he can take a hit. Duddy won by unanimous decision, only losing one round according to Judge Larry Hazzard and Judge Ron McNair. It looks as thought Duddy’s career is back on track.

The one surprise of the evening came from Lightweight Martin Tucker who defeated Michael Torres in a six round fight. Unfortunately, the Garden was less than 25% full for this fight. It was the fans who were the unfortunate ones. I say it was the one surprise because Torres was undefeated, and Tucker had a record of 6-4. In the first round, Torres even looked like the better fighter, moving more and ducking to avoid Tucker’s shots.

But in the second round, Tucker was able to catch Torres in the corner and then chased him to the far corner. Tucker’s punches also seemed to have more power behind them. Tucker kept improving, and even though Torres was throwing more punches, few of them were connecting. Although the judges don’t agree with me, I think Tucker easily won the fourth round. Tucker controlled the round. But what sealed the fight for Tucker was knocking down Torres in the fifth round. Although, again according to the judges, they split the rounds, Tucker now had a one point advantage. Torres looked as though he was trying to knock out Tucker in the sixth, but his arms looked tired and his punches were slow. Tucker won what was by far one of the most entertaining fights of the night.

Omar Chavez kept his winning record in tact against James Ventry, a fighter with more losses than wins. The fight started out with Ventry throwing more punches than Chavez. His one fault may have been that he backed off too quickly. Half way through the round, Chavez threw his first combination and put Ventry down. The rest of the round saw a much more aggressive Chavez.

Ventry tried to change the direction of the fight. In the third, he was chasing Chavez, pressing him back. Chavez did not seem to be throwing enough punches. In the fourth, both fighters were looking weaker. Chavez still was not throwing enough. However, Chavez looked much more aggressive in the fifth. Chavez won the fight by unanimous decision.

Cruiserweight Carlos Negron easily defeated Larry Pryor. Pryor, who stands at 6’3”, was still at a height disadvantage against the 6’6” Negron. There was little chance of Negron being hit unless Pryor could get inside, something he was unable to do throughout the fight. Negron easily won the first three rounds, then knowing in the fourth and final round that the fight would be his, chose to simply avoid Pryor in the fourth round.

Super Bantamweight Jorge Diaz knocked out his opponent, Yan Barthelemy. Like the Tucker, Torres fight, this was one of the better fights of the evening. Every time I have seen Diaz fight, he has been far superior to his opponents. Not this time. Barthelemy was a true challenge for Diaz.

Barthelemy spent the first round chasing Diaz. Diaz was landing punches, but with each one, he seemed to be getting hit too. The second round Diaz was doing the chasing. Barthelemy was fighting a little more defensively in the third and fourth rounds, doing a lot of holding to stop the attacks from Diaz. The fifth round was a true slug fest between the two fighters. Surprisingly, Barthelemy stayed up when most fighters would have gone down. Barthelemy even seemed to have the advantage in the beginning of the sixth round, but Diaz knocked him out with a left then a right.

The fight was over 1:07 into the sixth round. But while Diaz had reason to celebrate, the next few minutes seemed rather tense. Barthelemy was not moving. He finally did get up and exit the ring under his own power. This was a real test for Diaz, and he passed.

I find it unfortunate that all of the fights are not televised on the pay-per-view. The Tucker, Torres fight and the Diaz, Barthelemy fight were definitely fights to remember.


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