“This year I feel is going to be my best year” – Paddy Donovan wants European gold

Paddy Donovan did not win the Irish U18 light welterweight title as he would have liked, however the Limerick youngster knows that no one on the island was going to beat him

The OLOL fighter was handed his ninth Irish title on Friday via walkover following the withdrawal of final opponent Pierce O’Leary.

It wasn’t ideal, but Donovan was happy with how he had performed in the tournament beforehand, stopping both Michael Avetisian and Luke Burke en-route to the final

Looking back on his championship, Donovan told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’d rather go in and fight, get the title that way, but look, he pulled out and that’s the way it goes.”

“I was in form in this tournament and there was no one that was going to beat me at 64kg.”

While he didn’t get to fight in a final, Donovan points to his quarter final bout with Avetisian as being a quality match-up.

The Limerick fighter described how “the first fight was against one of the best guys in the country, Michael Avetisian, a top boy who has won five or six Irish titles and I knew I was going to have a tough fight, but it worked out better than I thought it would have with the stoppage.”

“He was one of the best at the weight and, to get past him, I knew I had to be on my game, which I was.”

Now up at 64kg, Donovan notes how “I’m feeling very, very strong and I’m hitting a lot harder, feeling good.”

Still only 17, Donovan has been sharing the ring with some big names in recent times. A regular visitor to Sheffield to spar pro Kid Galahad, Donovan has also been sparring European Games bronze medalist Sean McComb and Rio Olympian Steven Donnelly over the past week.

Donovan outlined how “I was sparring with Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly, which is going really well, a good experience.”

“It’s just like a fight, they’re brilliant lads, they’re Senior champions, men, but I go in there and do what I have to do.”

Next up are the European Youth Championships in Turkey this September, and the 2015 World Junior bronze medalist is single-minded in his target

“My aim is for gold, nothing else,” Donovan stated. “There’s not another thing on my mind, just the gold medal.”

“This year I feel is going to be my best year.”

“2015 was a great year, I was the older side [of the Junior age category]. 2016 wasn’t, I was the younger side [of the Youth age category], but I’m back this year.”

frayne carpentry

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

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