AmateurHeadline NewsNewsTop News of The Day

Top Rank Starlet Paddy Donovan Tells Cousin Jim to Keep the Vest on after Under-18 Irish Title Win

Paddy Donavan [7(5)-0] is adamant his cousin and protege Jim Donovan‘s Under-18 All Ireland win last Friday night shouldn’t be his last amateur success.

The Top Rank starlet revealed the vest is itching the highly thought of teen to the extent he is mad to rip it off and go pro.

However, the southpaw prospect, who turned over at the relatively tender age of 20, believes the OLOL welterweight should remain amateur for the foreseeable.

The Andy Lee trained pro, whose brother Edward Donovan and brother-in-law Jason Harty are also in the professional side of the ‘family business, wants the young prospect to win more amateur medals before considering the code change.

The highly-rated Donovan should target Under-18 European silverware, aim for senior honours nationally and Internationally and consider an Olympic charge according to his older cousin.

“He’s mad to turn pro but he has to continue training, building his name and I think, win a lot more titles, he has a great chance of winning the European Championships,” Paddy Donovan told in the National Stadium on Friday night.

“[He needs to] keep training, keep disciplined and put the Irish titles in his back pocket, see if he can get some international medals, and a couple of years down the line he’ll be a professional fighter just like me,” he adds before suggesting the Olympics may be an option but not his only one.

“He’s got a good chance [of fighting in an Olympics], if the chance comes, he’s straight in. He needs to keep winning Nationals like this, and doing well at European level.

“If he can get his hands on a qualification he’s obviously gonna go to the Olympics but if not, he’s good enough for the professionals. he’s a banger, he’s a puncher, he’s skilled and he’s surrounded by great people.”

The pro who next appears on the Sky Sports broadcast Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall card has no qualms about the 18-year-olds talent, but advises ability alone may not be enough.

The Limerick southpaw is aware the European Schoolboy silver medal winner has hit the age where the dedication needed to box at a high level is easily tested. He warned the Irish 67kg Under-18 champion against straying, although believes he has the right people around him to help him maintain focus. ​

“Jim has super potential, he has every trick in the book, he has all the shots, he has everything to go to the top. He needs to keep training, keep disciplined, he’s at the age right now where he can slip away from boxing so it’s important that he keeps in the gym and keeps listening.

“He’s surrounded by great people; he’s training with me, my brother, my Dad [Gugu Donovan], and Andy [Lee], so he’s in a great environment. He just needs to keep his head screwed on and the world is his oyster.”

Speaking on his upcoming fight against a yet to be confirmed opponent, Donovan said: “I’m training very hard. 2021 was a tough year inside and outside of the ring for me. We lost a couple of members of my family and I picked up a little hand injury, so it’s been a tough enough year but right now my mind is in a great place. I’m in a great environment, I’m training very hard with andy.”

“We’re just looking forward to this fight. Everything is good, weight is good, health is good, so physically and mentally I’m in a good place. I cannot wait to fight now,” he continues before taking a quick glance beyond Glasgow and the big Top Rank card.

“After this fight we are looking for a shot at a World Youth title”

“I wanna get my hands on that, a couple of defenses of that, I’ll only be 24 and then whoever wants it can have it.”

Jonny Stapleton 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: