DAMIEN DUDDY IS targeting a European belt in early 2017 after the St Johnston kickboxer won an ISKA 4 Nations title on Saturday night.
Duddy scored a split decision win over Leicester’s Ross Thompson at the White Horse Hotel in Derry to claim his first title as a senior – and is now aiming for a continental strap.
“I’ll be out on January 21st in Derry again for a European title belt,” Duddy, fighting out of Mayhem Martial Arts, told Donegal Sport Hub.
“This is the first step as a senior. I’ll keep building and eventually turn pro.
“It feels amazing, my first title as a senior, but it’s only the start for me. I have a long way to go.”[adrotate group=”46″]
Duddy has won World and European titles as a junior and is now on the ladder of the senior ranks.
Since joining with the Pennyburn-based Mayhem, Duddy has stepped up in weight and Saturday’s fight saw him take on Thompson in a five-round contest at 72kgs.
Preparation ensured that Duddy was ready – and he delivered.[adrotate group=”76″]
Duddy said: “That’s the highest there is, going from junior to fighting the best at senior level. He’s older, stronger, but I’m happy to get the win against a top quality opponent.
“I did the job. I had to fight smart and did that.
“He can hit, but he didn’t faze me. I’m getting hit hard every night. The preparation was on point and, as usual, there was no stone left unturned.”
It was a memorable night for Duddy, who saw younger brother William and girlfriend Sarah McGowan win ISKA Irish K1 Junior titles, while his father, Cathal, manned the red corner for the bouts.
Listen to the full interview below …