‘I Was Damaged Material’ – Paddy Donovan Ready to Put Heartbreaking Year Behind Him

Paddy Donovan [7(5)-0] is ready to put the worst year of his life behind him and go from 2021 ‘damaged’ goods to doing damage inside the ring in 2022.

The talented Top Rank starlet will look to start the year with a bang after securing a slot on the undercard of undisputed light-welterweight Josh Taylor versus WBO No. 1 contender Jack Catterall on Saturday, February 26 at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow.

It’s a chance for the Andy Lee-trained welter to advertise his unique wares on a high-profile card broadcast on ESPN and Sky Sports.

It also affords the Limerick southpaw the opportunity to begin the year on a positive note and make moves toward putting a sad and turbulent 2021 behind him.

The 23-year-old, had two close and young family members die by suicide over the course of last year – and it hit him hard.

“2021 was the hardest year of my life,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

“I was damaged material. I lost two of my family members, William my uncle, who was just 28 years of age, and my first cousin Patrick, 25 to suicide.”

Donovan did fight through the emotional pain and got out twice in the difficult year, a step-up win over Siar Ozgul as well as a Knock out of the Year nominated victory over Jose Luis Castillo.

The Treaty County fighter wanted one more fight before the calendar year was done but a hand injury put paid to that.

It’s a year he is glad to see the back of – and he starts 2022 fresh in a better place physically and mentally. Donovan has renewed vigour and is ready to reignite a rapid rise up the rankings.

“I’m glad that year is behind me. I’m a changed person now and I’m so hungry to be back in the ring this year. I’m ready for anyone,” he adds before discussing his February date.

“It’s great to be back in the ring. I have never been more excited, it’s great to have a fight on such a big platform.”

The former underage standout wants to use the platform to generate some noise and show why so many tip him for the top.

“I’m ready to show why I’m one of the best young fighters in boxing.”

Donovan also revealed he is a massive fan of one-half of the main event.

“I’m happy to be on josh Taylor undercard I think he’s an exceptional fighter one that I’m studying and I’m just delighted to be on his undercard.”

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