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‘The kid is a star’ – Andy Lee heaps praise on prospect Paddy Donovan

What Paddy Donovan [6(4)-0] did before and during his fight, last Saturday night proved his ‘star’ quality suggests coach Andy Lee.

‘The Real Deal’ impressed with an assured display against Siar Ozgul, becoming only the second fighter to stop the former Southern Area title challenger.

The manner with how the 22-year-old southpaw dominated the Turk earned him praise but Lee was keen to point out it’s not the only thing Donovan deserves credit for.

The former middleweight champion of the world believes the fact the step-up win came on the back of a camp, where the pandemic prevented the pair from working together, highlights the Top Rank fighter’s professionalism and quality.

It wasn’t quite self-thought by Donovan, as he has his father ‘Gugu’ Donovan and Shaun Kelly to fall back on, but it’s impressive nonetheless argues Lee.

“I have to pay tribute to this young man because we haven’t had time to train together at all due to Covid,” Lee said post the fight.

“He has basically trained with his Dad for this whole fight and he has gone in there with a guy that has been the distance with Viktor Postol.

“No one has done that to that guy, that’s a tough man, and Paddy showed his quality – and he did it himself.

“I was in the corner but he trained himself for this fight, training with his Dad and Shaun Kelly. I am very grateful for them helping me out in this difficult situation.

“The kid is a star as you can see and he is going to go places. This is only the beginning.”

The next step is to move Donovan to eight-rounders and the team hopes to challenge for a World Youth title before the year is done.

“Eight rounds next and push on from there,” Donovan responded when asked what was next.

“We want to get to 10-0 this year and win a World Youth title.”

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