BY SEÁN P. FEENY
DONEGAL’S latest addition to the world of professtional boxing, recently chose the gym over his big brother’s stag do in Benidorm.
Joe (25) is currently preparing for his fourth pro fight at the Camden Centre in London on Saturday, May 11, two weeks before he is best man at brother Paul’s wedding.
“I’m absolutely terrified about making the speech,” Joe laughed, “I definitely prefer fighting to talking. There are going to be a lot of people there and I’m absolutely dreading my speech.
“But I will get through it. It was hard telling Paul I was going to miss his stag do, but I have to concentrate on my career and hopefully all the sacrifices will be worth it.”
Duffy has made a smooth transition from professional Mixed Martial Arts, where he was a real talent to boot, to posting three straigh wins in March.
The super-middleweight prospect’s wins included an eye-catching stoppage of journeyman Paul Morby and a hard-fought points win over Gilson De Jesus in his last fight. De Jesus was a decent amateur and came to fight – but Duffy beat him over four rounds.
“It was just the sort of fight I need. I’m looking to have fights that will help me progress. I need good learning fights and that’s what my manager Mickey Helliet is giving me.”
Joe, the son of Inishfree native Joe Senior and Theresa (nee Gallagher) from Meenbanad, turned pro without any amateur experience.
“I’ve been competing in combat sports since I was five years old growing up in Wales. A fight’s a fight to me. At first, I did think I would be playing catch up with boxers who had long amateur careers, but I’m holding my own and progressing.”
British pro boxer and Olympic gold medallist James DeGale has helped Duffy sharpen his skills and boxing brain duringand they spar regularly.
“James is an awesome talent. He’s the complete package.
“He’s so fast, his shots come from all angles and he’s very good at anticipating what I’m going to do. His thought process is half-a-second quicker than mine – and that’s a great talent. Sparring James gives me so much confidence going into a fight.”