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CONFIRMED: Paddy Donovan turns pro – Signs major U.S. deal

Exciting young Irish stylist Paddy Donovan has signed pro terms with Top Rank.

As far back as April Irish-Boxing.com revealed the former underage amateur sensation was on the verge of turning over and this afternoon news of a deal with the giant American promotional outfit was confirmed.

The rumours that time three months ago were that a host of promotional outfits had expressed an interest, but Matchroom and Top Rank were the front runners.

It seems legendary promoter Bob Arum has won the race as Top Rank confirmed Limerick welterweight Donovan as the latest addition to their stable today.

Former middleweight world champion Andy Lee has been working alongside his fellow Limerick talent in recent months and will train the exciting prospect in the pros, drawing on his own experience under the late, great Manny Steward and Adam Booth.

The 20-year-old southpaw talent finished runner-up at the National Elite Senior Championships in February to reigning champ Kieran Molloy and lost out in Last 16 of the European Under-22 Championships last month to Russian home favourite Vakhid Abbasov – two decisions he objected to and two decisions that may have inspired the move into the paid ranks.

Donovan, who won everything at underage national level as a teenager as well as a World Junior silver medal and the Irish Intermediate title, has been on the radar for promoters for some time now.

Now the OLOL graduate, who was described by Mick Conlan as a Tokyo Olympic gold medal hope, is officially a pro and joins fellow touted amateur Joe Ward in confirming as much in recent weeks.

Donovan also becomes part of a bit of Top Rank Irish revolution. Bob Arum fell in love with Conlan during the Rio 2016 fallout and signed the Belfast star to a lucrative million dollar contract.

The promoter who has been in the game since 1965 seems to have caught the Irish bug and this year added both former world champions Carl Frampton and Ryan Burnett to his books.

Donovan can now call such fighters promotional stablemates.

The talented youngster said that “I’m honored to sign with Top Rank. They are the best in boxing.”

“My goal is to become a world champion, and there is no one better than Top Rank to help me achieve my goal.”

Irish-Boxing.com also reported the Limerick southpaw was set to debut on the massive Féile card in Belfast on August 3rd. That card will topped by Michael Conlan in his Vladimir Nikitin revenge match will be broadcast via ESPN+ in association with Top Rank although Donovan’s place on the card remains to be confirmed.


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com

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