Andy Lee – the former WBO middleweight champion who is building a reputation as one of the best trainers in the sport –  promises that his rising star, undefeated Irishman Paddy “The Real Deal” Donovan (13-0, 10 KOs), is not looking past his opponent this Saturday. 

Donovan meets former British lightweight champion Lewis “Sandman” Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs), ahead of a potential showdown later this year with Northern Ireland’s Lewis “The Croc” Crocker (19-0, 11 KOs).

Donovan vs. Ritson is the 10-round co-featured event on a Matchroom Boxing card, headlined by a domestic clash between UK super lightweights Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall, to be streamed on DAZN live from First Direct Arena in Leeds, United Kingdom. 

Donovan, the 25-year-old fighting out of Limerick, where Lee hails from, defeated William Andres Herrera in his last fight on January 27.

Although Ritson is a tough fight, the appealing Donovan vs. Crocker - which could be a huge one in Ireland - has been brewing for a while. Donovan, though, has also ensured that he is fully focused on Ritson.

“There’s no way Paddy’s looking past Lewis Riston,” promised Lee, who also co-manages Donovan with NYC-based lawyer Keith Sullivan. “He’s a very experienced campaigner and at one stage he was the top man in England. We expect a tough, tough fight. Ritson’s moving up in weight, which I think will better suit him, probably bringing out the best in him, because I think he struggled to make the lighter weight for some time now. 

“We’re expecting a hard fight, but Paddy’s training has been excellent. He’s in great form and sparring plenty of rounds, so I expect Paddy to come out the winner.”

Ritson lost his last fight, on March 4, stopped by a body shot from Ohara Davies in the ninth round. 

“This fight will prepare me for bigger fights,” said Donovan, who finds himself ranked 11th by the WBA. “I am lining myself up to win a world championship belt, so I take every fight very seriously, and prepare the best I can for every opponent. He is a really good opponent for me at this stage of my career. I need the challenge he can bring into the ring. This time around, I have had more time to prepare for this challenge than I did for my last fight. I’ve been working hard, and I will be ready.”