Paddy Donovan. [Photo by Jay Mwamba]

Donovan on Taylor card

Undefeated Irish sensation Paddy “The Real Deal” Donovan gets his first crack at a professional title this Saturday when he challenges Englishman Danny Ball for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Continental welterweight belt at Dublin’s 3Arena. The scheduled 10-rounder is on the undercard of the Katie Taylor- Chantelle Cameron rematch for Cameron’s undisputed world super lightweight champion.

 The card will stream live on DAZN PPV beginning at 2 p.m. EST.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

“If I win this fight I will win the WBA Continental title and be ranked #15 by the WBA. I’d like to defend that title a few times and get a world title shot by the end of next year or early 2025,” said Donovan, who’s 24 and boasts an 11-0 ledger with 8 KOs.

Ball, three years older at 27, and with a 13-1-1 [6 KO] record, will be hoping to add the WBA strap to his collection. He holds the British Boxing Board of Control [BBBC] welterweight title.

“My opponent is a hard hitter who is the English champion,” Donovan noted. “He’s won his last three fights in a row. I’ll open boxing, coming forward counter-punching, and then get the knockout.”

New York-based attorney Keith Sullivan, known for his work in boxing as a lawyer, co-manages Donovan with trainer Andy Lee.

“I think Paddy has all the tools to be world champion,” Sullivan said. “All he really needs is time, top-level experience and opportunities. It’s great working again with Andy Lee, who has developed into a first-class boxing trainer. His boxing experience is helpful for a young boxer like Paddy.”

Fighting out of Limerick, Donovan trains in Dublin with Lee, the former World Boxing Organization middleweight titlist whose cousin is unbeaten lineal and reigning WBA world heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury.

Because of his relationship with Lee, Donovan has benefited from training with Fury and “The Gypsy King” is mighty high on his fellow Irish Traveller, Paddy.

“I think Paddy Donovan is one of the stars of the future,” Fury told the Irish Mirror. “He’s definitely the biggest prospect in Irish boxing at the moment. He’s a very, very talented young fighter and he’s had a lot of amateur experience.

“He can punch hard, and he has got the boxing IQ. He’s had great tutelage with my cousin, Andy Lee. I think he’s going all the way, Paddy!”

Donovan was charmed.

“It meant so much to me when Tyson said that I’m going to be a world champion,” he said. “They call him ‘The Gypsy King’  and in Ireland, they call me ‘The Gypsy Prince.’”

Born in Ennis, County Clare, Donovan is a slick southpaw with dynamite in both hands. He represented Ireland at the 2016 World Youth Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was 65-12 in the amateurs, winning two Irish national championships, as well as the 2017 International Tournament, and a Haringey Youth gold medal. 

In 2019, Donovan turned pro, stopping Arturo Lopez in the first round in Belfast. He’s coming off an eighth round KO of the 7-4-1 Sam O’Maison last May.

Of the main event combatants this Saturday, Donovan said:  “I know Katie Taylor extremely well; I was her sparring partner when I was 15. She’s one of the nicest people, not just in boxing, I’ve ever met. She’s never forgotten my name. She’s even come to train with me and Andy in Dublin a few times before fights.”A Bray native who fights out of Connecticut, Taylor [21-1, 6 KOs] will be attempting to atone for the defeat she suffered to Cameron [18-0, 8 KOs] in their unification match at the 3Arena last May.