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Andy Lee: Bigger Ritson a Real Threat for Paddy Donovan

A bigger Lewis Ritson is a bigger threat warns Andy Lee.

The former middleweight champion of the world has been studying the Newcastle native in recent months as he prepared his charge Paddy Donovan to fight the former British lightweight champion this weekend in Leeds.

Ritson hasn’t enjoyed the best of times of late, losing to Ohara Davies last time out and ahs slowly slipped out of the spotlight.

Donovan, on the other hand, has spent the last year rising rapidly, teaming up with Matchroom and registering three step-up knockout wins en route to this big fight on Saturday’s Taylor-Catterall card.

As a result, ‘The Real Deal’ goes into the DAZN-broadcast, Matchroom-promoted clash as a big favorite, although coach and fellow Limerick man, Lee is adamant Ritson remains a test.

Indeed, he believes the 30-year-old will be more at home at welterweight than the weights he has previously competed at, meaning the Irish southpaw should expect the best version of former Matchroom favourite.

“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,” says Lee before backing his man.

“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.”

Leeds, UK: Paddy Donovan and Lewis Ritson Final Press Conference ahead of their WBA Continental Welterweight Title fight on Saturday Night. 23 May 2024 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing Paddy Donovan.

Although Ritson is a tough fight, the fan-fantasy bout of Donovan vs Lewis Crocker has been brewing for a while. Arguably it could be the most anticipated all-Irish fight since Michael Conlan versus TJ Doheny.
“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.”

Speaking on the fight, Donovan notedBigg “This fight will prepare me for bigger fights,” said the No. 11 WBA-rated welterweight Donovan. “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!”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years