Duffy survives early scare in Germany to extend unbeaten record

Islington’s Joe Duffy survived a first-round knockdown to retain his unbeaten record with a unanimous points win over Ionut Trandafir Ilie in Germany.

A powerful right hook sent Duffy to the canvas at the end of the first round, but the 25-year-old super-middleweight recovered to stack up the sixth straight victory of his professional career.

“I think getting knocked down helped get me fired up,” Duffy admitted. “As soon as I got back up it was just a case of getting my head clear and starting to think about the rest of the rounds.

“I recovered pretty sharply and I felt like my wits were there. We had five rounds to chase, so we were just keeping positive and making sure we took every round after that.”

Duffy had made more of the running during the opening round of six at Barengarten, Ravensburg, but he was rocked by the unexpected big right-hander from his Romanian opponent.

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However, Duffy managed to withstand a renewed onslaught before the bell and regained control in the second round, working behind the jab and unloading some big shots to the body.

With Ilie unable to offer much in response, it was Duffy who continued to dominate the next three rounds, holding the centre of the ring and landing the better punches.

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The final round was a closer affair as the duo traded punches, but it was not enough to prevent the Islington man from taking the decision on each of the judges’ scorecards.

Duffy is pencilled in to box again at the end of the month in another six-rounder at the Camden Centre, King’s Cross.

Also in action on Micky Helliet’s show is Islington’s Charlie Rice, who will be back in the ring for the first time since he lost a narrow points decision to Danny Connor in the Prizefighter light-welterweight tournament earlier this summer.

The 21-year-old former Times ABC star has dropped down to lightweight for the September 27 contest.

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