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Paddy Donovan ready to rip through Ritson

Paddy Donovan declares power and skill will trump experience when he faces Lewis Ritson in Leeds on Saturday night.

‘The Real Deal’ fights the former British lightweight champion and European title challenger on the massive DAZN broadcast Taylor-Catterall card.

The Newcastle native, who himself was once a darling of Matchroom and an Eddie Hearn favourite, represents an opponent upgrade for the Limerick southpaw.

The 30-year-old has headlined arena cards, fought for and won major titles, and has shared the rings with the likes of former Tyrone McKenna arch-rival Ohara Davies, Ray Moylette upsetter Christian Uruzquieta, former world champions Dejan Zlaticinin and Miguel Vazquez, and Belfast’s Paul Hyland.

It’s the kind of CV the Andy Lee-trained Donovan has yet to acquire, something he is aware of – but something he doesn’t think matters.

Donovan argues he still has the tools to do a better job and expects to get that job done inside the distance.

“Ritson has experience but I have power, I have superior skills. Let him throw the kitchen sink at me. I’ll be waiting for him. And I will stop him,” says the southpaw.

While he is confident of victory, he is aware he can’t sleep on ‘The Sandman’. The Matchroom starlet knows Ritson will be more comfortable at welterweight than any weight he competed at previously and expects the Geordie to come with a desire to reignite his career.

“Still you can’t take away Lewis Ritson’s achievements, the fights he has under his belt and the experience he brings to the table. I’m sure he’ll be itching to get in there. These are the kind of fights in his career where he needs to get up for it.

“He knows that I’m going to be an extremely tough task for him. At this stage of his career I’m sure he’ll be ready,” he adds before discussing the big-stage element to proceedings.

“I’m excited. Eddie is known for putting some of the best fighters in the world together and putting on the best cards. It’s a great fight on paper. Ritson is a hell of a fighter and I’m in great shape. I’m ready to put on an amazing show here in Leeds.”

Leeds, UK: Paddy Donovan during a Open Workout in Leeds ahead his fight this weekend. 22 May 2024 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Last time out the older brother of Edward Donovan and cousin to Jim Donovan faced trouble for the first time in his career, as Williams Andres Herrera asked questions of his tank and endurance.

The 25-year-old’s response was to whip out his go-to body shot to halt proceedings in his favour.

Rumour post the fight suggested Donovan had spent a week in bed sick in the lead-up. He reluctantly admits that was the case this week while claiming he had no such issue preparing for Ritson.

“My last fight was a potential banana slip. He was a tough fighter. He was a durable fighter but a fighter that you’re supposed to beat. I got illness and things like that in my training camp. I’m not making excuses. This time round I’ve had great preparation. Me and Andy have spent more time together than we ever have. We’ve been working on new specific things for Ritson in the gym. You’re going to see the best Paddy Donavan possible on Saturday night.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years