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Andy Lee delights as Paddy Donovan shows he has fight as well as flair

Paddy Donovan showed he has the grit to go with the guile needed to win a world title in Belfast on Saturday night said a proud Andy Lee.

‘The Real Deal’ has proven himself one of the most aesthetically pleasing Irish fighters to watch in recent years, and by all accounts, for those that way inclined, is easy on the eye. Bob Arum certainly thought so, labeling him the most handsome fighter since the legendary Muhammad Ali.

However, at the Ulster Hall on Saturday night, he proved he is also capable of getting ugly, and that when needed, he can go from beauty to the beast.

Williams Andres Herrera was the first fighter to ask real questions of the Limerick southpaw, finding his way into the fight and making it scrappy at the midway point.

The Argentine drew blood from the Matchroom fighter’s nose and the Munster man was beginning to feel the effects of constant pressure.

However, Donovan proved he can handle the heat, didn’t look to get out of the kitchen and responded by registering a fourth successive stoppage win.

Former WBO middleweight champion of the world Lee was delighted with the victory, the performance and even the fact his charge had some troubled moments.

The Kronk graduate, who has experience of coming through adversity to win by knockout, believes Saturday was exactly the gut check the stylist needed and is a fight that will stand to him in the future.

“I think he needed that type of win in his career. It’s great experience for him to go through a bit of adversity,” the respected coach said.

“I think it could be the making of him. He showed his heart, he showed he could bite down and he showed what he’s made of.

“He’s not just a pretty boy with all the flash moves – he’s got heart and he can fight when he has to.

“I can’t teach Paddy that much anymore. I’ve taught him everything. All we can do is keep repeating things to do right so he doesn’t pick up any bad habits.

“This was about experience, about going through adversity. We need more of that.

“We’ll take a couple of weeks off now, get back in the gym and have another fight as soon as possible.

Belfast, UK: Paddy Donovan v Williams Andres Herrera, Welterweight Contest. 27 January 2024 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Donovan added: “In camp, Andy said to me, ‘Paddy there’s one thing that we need for you – it’s durable fights where you have to dig deep’.

“Tonight was an example of that. I had to dig deep.

“It’s a fast turnaround from the last camp. I didn’t get much time really to prepare for it, and I got sick as well through Christmas.

“It’s a win, we move on, and we look forward to bigger and better things.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years