“I have to improve” admits Paddy Donovan following scrappy U22 title win

As the old football saying goes, the sign of a good team is one that can win while playing badly.

Paddy Donovan feels something similar having retained his Irish U22 welterweight title at the weekend.

The Limerick southpaw was left bitterly disappointed by his performance in the final at the National Stadium but is able to employ some perspective.

Donovan’s focus is on the Elite Championships next month where he will enter for the first time and the Tokyo Olympic tip was happy to have an “off night” before Ireland’s biggest tournament has begun.

The OLOL boxer took on Castlebar’s Aaron Daly on Friday night, winning but taking more shots than people are accustomed to seeing him take – especially in the third and final round in what was a spirted display from his strong Mayo opponent.

Donovan tried to look at the big picture afterwards and told Irish-Boxing.com that “it was tough enough, I underestimated him a bit. It was one fight, straight into the final, and I really needed that before the Elites.”

“I didn’t really turn up at all today, I could have done a lot more – if I really needed to, but I knew I was always comfortable enough.”

“He came and he had a good go. It’s good to get the not-so-good performances out early, before the Elites. When I need to perform is at the Elite Championships.”

Donovan is promising better next month, admitting that “I have to improve, that performance wouldn’t be good enough at the top level.”

“I’ll be training first thing in the morning, back training straight away.”

“I can’t perform in every fight – but if I can perform at my worst and still be a champion, I’ll take that.”

For Donovan to become Elite champion he will need to dethrone reigning champ and EU bronze medallist Kieran Molloy but the Shannonsider noting how there is a talent-packed field in addition to the Galway champ.

“There’s a load,” said Donovan. “Aidan Walsh, Dean Walsh, Eugene McKeever, a load of top boys and I’m so happy that my name is up there and people are talking and saying that I have a chance of winning.”

Photo Credit: Michael Hade – National Stadium Boxing Videos


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie