Fresh off his knockout of English welterweight champion Danny Ball (13-2-1, 6 KOs), newly crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) Continental Welterweight Champion Paddy “The Real Deal” Donovan (12-0, 9 KOs) gained invaluable exposure worldwide by fighting on a DAZN card headlined by the rematch between Irish superstar Katie Taylor (22-1) and previously undefeated, unified world super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron (18-1), that was streamed live from 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
The 24-year-old Donovan lit up the sellout crowd with his fan-friendly style of boxing, displaying superior hand and foot speed, as well as dynamite in his hands as he picked up the pace in the third round, followed by an explosive fourth when he closed the show.
“I looked in my corner (in the fourth round),” Donovan noted, “and Andy (Lee, his head trainer) said to go get him. I did! There was a lot of pressure to deliver in Ireland because there was a lot of talk about me fighting. The crowd anticipated my fight, and I handled it well. The fight went as good as I could have dreamed. I knew I had the talent but my maturity at 24 is where I’ve improved the most this past year. It went as we trained, and I knocked him out in the fourth round. My footwork was good, I set-up my shots and came out of the fight without a scratch. This was my best fight to date.”
In a post-fight press conference, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn proclaimed Donovan the newest Irish boxing superstar, in addition to indicating that he’s interested in promoting a fight in Paddy’s hometown of Limerick with him headlining.
“We like to see new talent emerge in Ireland,” Donovan said. “I’m set to move into the limelight."
"Hearn talked about a show in Limerick with me headlining. We haven’t had boxing here in the last 10-15 years and this would possibly be the biggest boxing event ever in Limerick. If that fight doesn’t happen next, we’re also looking to fight in New York City, possibly on St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden.”
Not only is Limerick-native Lee (35-3-1, 24 KOs), the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Middleweight World Champion, Donovan’s chief second, he also co-manages Paddy with New York-based attorney Keith Sullivan.
Lee added, “That’s (fight vs. Ball) just a taste of what he can do. There’s a lot more to come from Paddy. We can bring Matchroom to Limerick for a world title fight.”
“As sensational and important as the win was,” Sullivan remarked, “it’s behind us now and we are already looking forward to the next match. Paddy will be in New York City this week for sparring and Andy and I will discuss Paddy’s options with him. A fight in Limerick, as Eddie Mentioned, would be magical, so too would one in New York City with its massive base of Irish fans. We’ll have to wait and see who is available and what makes the most sense for Paddy’s career.”
As much as Donovan appreciates the fame-and-glory journey he’s officially embarked on, Paddy’s never forgotten where he comes from, and he’s all for giving back to the next generation of Irish youth.
“I owe thanks to a lot of people who stood by me and kept me off the streets,” Donovan explained. “What I really enjoy the most are the kids. I know what they feel when I meet them because I was the same way growing up and meeting Andy Lee and other Irish boxers. Kids here look up to their role models and I want to inspire the next generation in Ireland.
“There hadn’t been big boxing cards in the last 7-8 years. Eddie started doing big-time boxing again in Ireland.”