Matt Vanda enters the ring in a skeleton mask and T shirt, John Duddy enters to the screeching of bagpipes. Sometimes I wish I weren’t of Irish extraction. I feel guilty for not liking the sound of bagpipe “music.”
Duddy comes out with aggression, throwing power shots from the start. The two are bouncing in the ring, both throwing and both getting hit. Vanda takes his first backward steps at about 2:30, no advantage to 2:00, though Duddy is beginning to jab. Vanda looks irritated at 1:50. Less aggression at 1:25, the pace picks up bout ten or fifteen seconds later. First clinch of the fight at 1:07. Duddy lands a good left to the body, then a right to the body of Duddy a few seconds later at :52. Duddy isn’t showing Vanda much respect. Duddy throwing combinations, Vanda single shots to the end of the round. This round goes narrowly to Duddy.
The round starts with lot sof pawing and lots of missing. Duddy lands a right to the head, then a slightly low left to Vanda. Vanda lands a right at 2:25, Duddy hits him back harder at 2:20. Lullin the action about 2:00. Vanda is throwing jabs with good effect, but not much frequency. Duddy hits Vanda with a good left to the body at 1:33. Vanda shows some aggression at 1:16, but Duddy is disciplined. Keeping Vanda on the outside with the jab, hitting him with occasional power shots. Duddy looks like the bigger, stronger man. Vanda is in the fight, but getting the worse of exchanges. Duddy lands a power combo at :23 or so, Vanda misses with the counter. This round goes more decisively to Duddy.
Both men throw ineffectual jabs through 2:40. NO 3RR3D5IF3 ORR3NW3 5H4OUTH 2:25, then Duddy lands a good right to the body of Vanda may have hurt him about 2:10. Vanda continues to compile single punches while Duddy throws punches in twos and threes. Vanda is on his toes. Vanda gets knocked backwards a step or two at about 1:06. Vanda’s left elbow lands with effect at :35, but duddy is still in charge. Vanda lands a nice left hook to the body about :05, then misses with a couple of head shots. Round to Duddy.
Duddy lands two punches to Vanda’s every one. Something’s got to give or Vanda will soon be too far behind to win by decision. Vanda gets inside but fails to land crisply at 2:07 or so, then duddy connects with a good left. Vanda’s left hand is down at his waiste. A lull in the action is finally interrupted by more pwoer shots from Duddy at 1:26 and then 1:21. Duddy is just bigger and sronger, what can I say? Vanda’s punches are getting tentative. Duddy throws left-left-right and moves Vanda backward about :35. Duddy closes out the round with a couple more power shots, but the last twoo punches to land in this round are Vanda’s. Round to Duddy.
There seems to be some urgency in Vanda’s corner between rounds. Nevertheless, Vanda’s aggression is relatively ineffective as Duddy lands bigger every time Vanda lunges in to land a punch or two. duddy lands a left, Vanda spins around and Duddy lands another left. Vanda is circling and jabbing at 1:40, but to no avail. Now Duddy takes a few steps backward, but comes forward again and lands good power shots at 1:14, Vanda bounces way back against the top rope, but comes off okay and lands a couple of single punches just before 1;00. duddy is dead serious, and all business. Vanda misses a jab and eats two shots about ;30. Vanda is in the unaccustomed position of frequent retreat, and it isn’t working for him. A clash of bodies ends the fifth, another round for Duddy.
I like the way Ron Lyke runs a corner: calm advice and encouragement between rounds. Duddy’s jabs are working better than Vanda’s through 2:40. I’ve said it before, it’s the truth: duddy is hitting Vanda harder and more frequently than Vanda is hitting back. This could be a long night. Vanda misses with a right, connects with a glancing left, and gets hit with a power combo at 1:55 or so. Vanda is inching forward but you couldn’t really call it aggression. More crisp jabs from duddy set up a couple of body shots at 1:06. Every once in a while Vanda sneaks in a shot, but this isn’t offense. Vanda is tough, give him that. And I love the grin that says “I love my job.” Vanda misses badly with a left then gets popped. Vanda connects a good right to the face of duddy at about :11, but this round is in the books and it’s still a shutout so far for Duddy. Round to Duddy.
Duddy comes out on the attack, but Vanda connects with a couple of good power shots through 2:40. A good right by Vanda hit slightly low at 2:28. Duddy is firing combinations and Vanda is hitting back with single shots. Vanda’s first committed combination of the fight lands. Nice left by Vanda lands at 1:44, but Duddy whacks him back. Vanda nailed Duddy with another left about 1:24. Good right by Duddy, Three lefts by Vanda land at 1:06. More single shots land for Duddy, but vanda connects well a couple of times at :40. Vanda’s punches are moving slower now, but he’s having a good round. duddy snaps Vanda’s head back about :10, but this has been Vanda’s best round. Am I reaching? I don’t think so: round narrowly to Vanda.
Duddy connects the first real punch of the round at 2:51. Vanda si committing to his punches more, and it’s nice to see. right-left lands for Vanda at 2:10. Duddy backs into a corner and Vanda catches him at 1:59, but Duddy comes back with sinister motives and scores. Vanda is taking a shot to throw a shot, but I wish he were landing better. Duddy’s jabs are still crisp at 1:12. Right-left to the body lands for Vanda at 1:02. Both men move forwrad at the same time and both men land. Duddy continues to jab, then catches Vanda with a couple of good body shots at :30. Vanda’s face shows that he’s determined, but his body language shows that he’s a little discouraged. Nothing effective lands to the end of this round, which I score for Duddy.
Duddy’s corner is congratulting him on his good “anger management” getween rounds. Vanda is trying to get inside, but Duddy punches moving backwards pretty well. Vanda bounces a little at 2:05, but duddy flattens his feet a little bit at 1:57. The two trade in the middle of the ring at 1:40. Vanda needs more of that. duddy is moving back strategically but comes forward with a good power combo at :39. Duddy’s movement is good. Duddy paws with the left jab at :16, keeping Vanda outside. This round ends with Duddy in control: round to Duddy.
Vanda looks determined, Duddy alert as this round begins. Vanda comes out throwing more punches with more intent than at any other point in the fight. Vanda is landing better than Duddy so far at 2:20. A big left from Vanda at 2:12. Vanda is being the predator. Duddy is still jabbing, but Vanda is connecting power shots. HUGE combo at 1:37 by Vanda!.. Vanda is beating Duddy around the ring at 1:26, and still at 1:21. Now Duddy holds, and Vanda’s momentum is waning. Vanda lands well to :100, and duddy is running. Vanda is using his forehead as a third fist, now he corner Duddy and lands a big left at :39. Duddy’s offense is returning, and he seems out of trouble at :20. Ten seconds to go, and Vanda raises his hands in celebration at :05 while Duddy is still throwing punches. The round comes to a close, and the fight with it, with both men grinning like fools. This was Vanda’s best in the fight by a wide margin: BIG round to Vanda.
It’s no surprise that this one goes to Duddy by unanimous decision. But Matt Vanda proved he is a gritty and tough pro by taking the fight to Duddy in the final round. I score this one 98-92 for Duddy. I’m tempted to make the final round 10-8 for Vanda, but I just can’t do it. Thank you for reading, and good night.