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Pressure-free Paddy Donovan targets Elite Championships – “Why can’t I win the big one?”

He’s been tipped by Mick Conlan to win gold in Tokyo, he won his Irish Senior International debut on away soil versus the World #5, and a recent knockout of his went viral but Paddy Donovan is still an easy-going lad.

The Limerick welterweight won the Irish Senior [Intermediate] title on Friday night with a comfortable points triumph over Jason Kyne and the 19-year-old remains cool under the increasing spotlight.

Donovan admits that he was the man to beat in the championships but this came with no added pressure for the OLOL southpaw.

Following his win, Donovan told that “I don’t really feel pressure, I’ve been in big fights, European Championships, World Championships, fighting two-time World Champions, World Champions, I’ve boxed all the best.”

“I don’t really get nervous no more, I’ve outgrown that. Sometimes it’s good to get a bit of nerves but, in this tournament, I didn’t feel any.”

“I felt good, it was a tournament I was expected to win but there was a good entry, 20 boys.”

That said, Donovan remains keen to improve ahead of his big goal – the Irish Elite Senior Championships next February.

“It’s all progress for the Elites,” he said of his win over the game Jason Kyne. “Getting back in, getting fights under my belt.”

“I’ve a lot to work on still, get bigger, get stronger, get better.”

“But I’m ready for the best, I’ve been preparing for the Elites since I was 15, I’m going to give it a great shot.”

A hand injury meant that Donovan did not compete in the 2018 tournament won by Kieran Molloy but the Munster youngster did travel alongside all the national champions on their tour of the U.S. East Coast where he defeated World #5 and Panamerican silver medallist Quinton Randall.

The Shannonsider knows he will have tough competition and noted that “I’ve been keeping an eye, there are some very good boys there.”

“Dean Walsh is brilliant, four or five times Elite champion, you can’t underestimate him, he’s been there and won it, I haven’t.”

“Kieran Molloy, the Elite Champion, brilliant boy, he’s a good friend of mine and we’ve sparred a couple of times. He’s a brilliant lad, the Elite Champion, so, let’s see,” added the confident character.

While he may not be favourite for the championships in February – with recent EU bronze medallist Molloy potentially being given this position – Donovan believes he can win and set in motion a series of events that will lead to Tokyo.

“I haven’t fought in an Elite Championships, these boys have, the big names have been there. But, for me, it’s going to be another tournament, I’ve been here [Irish finals] 13 times and won nearly all them – why can’t I win the big one?”

“2019, everything is on, Worlds and Europeans, I’ll be aiming for them.”

“Then, 2020, with the help of God the Tokyo Olympics will be on and I’ll be there and I’m going to be the one to beat.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: