Don’t be fooled by the handsome looks or the flashy style Paddy Donovan [1(1)-0] can be mean and is a puncher.
The Limerick welter proved as much during his debut at the Ulster Hall on Saturday.
The 21-year-old southpaw took just 76 seconds to flatten Mexican opponent Arturo Lopez [5-14(6)-3] during the TV section of the #MTKFightNight with a well timed, beautifully executed power punch.
Indeed, such was the shot Lopez had to be given oxygen in the ring and thankfully came through the standard onsite doctor tests.
It wasn’t quite the start people where expecting, fellow debutant Pierce O’Leary, as a big punching aggressive fighter, was meant to be the first timer with the potential to register an early finish on Friday.
For those not too aware of ‘The Real Deal’s’ amateur background, he was meant be the stylist who wowed with skill. However, speaking after Donovan, who claims to have over 50 stoppages from over 100 amateur wins, claimed he has both panache and power and can call on both when needs be.
“In the amateurs there was a lot of sparkle to my performances, but if you look closer there are a lot of stoppages too. Sometimes you get fights like tonight where you stop someone with a good shot, but there will be times where I will have to show more skill to win rounds and win that way. But it’s so far, so good and it looks like I have the power for the pro game,” he told Irish-Boxing.com in a manner as polished as his ring performance.
The manner of the win will only add fuel to the hype train surrounding the OLOL graduate. Irish-Boxing.com’s Joe O’Neill has been waxing lyrical about the prospect as he reported on him as an underage star, but the wider media have given him serious column inches since he turned over with Top Rank and of course Lee.
The always confident southpaw seems to enjoy the attention, but he admits for the first time in some time he felt pressure to perform in the ring ahead of Friday- and he was happy he rose to the occasion.
“The first fight there is always going to be nerves. There are expectations, there was a lot of talk around the country and in America now. It was live on ESPN in America too, so there was some pressure to perform and I think I done that tonight.”
Regardless of the performance levels, Donovan enjoyed the whole experience – although such is his talent and where it may bring him, he is possibly one who won’t claim ‘there is nothing like your first time’ when his journey is done.
“I loved it. Andy told me to stop and soak it all in for a few seconds, have a look around, enjoy it and then concentrate on the performance. That is exactly what I did and I done what was asked of me. I enjoyed every minute of the whole thing. As everyone seen the crowd was amazing and that really gave me a big boost and we got in there and I did what I had to to do, I performed,” he added before reflecting on the performance.
“It’s a good start. We prepared well, we ticked all the boxes in training, worked hard in camp and it showed.”
Donovan will return to the ring on another #MTKFightNight in Glasgow next month, his coach would like to get him out in the New Year before he adds Irish interest to the undercard of Michael Conlan’s annual St Patrick’s Day New York fight.
He is happy with that proposed schedule and is keen to just keep learning his trade at the present time.
“Now it’s about keeping busy, training hard, getting in to better shape, improving on my boxing and learning in as many fights as I can.”