Ascending Irish welterweight Paddy “The Real Deal” Donovan Not looking past Lewis Ritson

NEW YORK (April 15, 2024) –Undefeated Irishman Paddy “The Real Deal” Donovan (13-0, 10 KOs), the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) Continental Welterweight Champion, is fully focusing on his next opponent, former British lightweight champion Lewis “Sandman” Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs), and not his rumored showdown later this year with Northern Ireland’s Lewis “The Croc” Crocker (19-0, 11 KOs).

Donovan vs. Ritson is the 10-round co-featured event May 25th on a Matchroom Boxing card, headlined by a domestic clash between UK super lightweights Josh Taylor (19-1) and Jack Catterall (28-1), to be streamed on DAZN live from First Direct Arena in Leeds, United Kingdom.

The 25-year-old Donovan, who is now ranked No. 11 in the world by the World Boxing Association (WBA), will defend his title belt for the second time after a TKO win over William Andres Herrera (15-2) in his last fight this past January 27.

Donovan vs. Crocker has been percolating and if both fighters continue winning it will be one of the most anticipated 2024 fights in Ireland and the UK. The key is for both fighters to continue winning without a hiccup. Donovan understands that he needs to avoid any distractions as he prepares to fight Ritson, especially with the possibility of a future fight against Crocker as it continues to build exponentially into an epic super-fight.

“I do not look past any opponent,” Donovan said. “I know Lewis Ritson is a really good opponent for me at this stage of my career. I’m really excited to be ranked No. 11 in the world and I’m checking all the boxes in training to be ready for any fighter, Lewis first, and then we can move on to beating whoever my managers and promoter put in front of me. Ritson is a very good opponent for me. This is the fight I need, the challenge that will prepare me for bigger fights, especially against Crocker, or anyone else. For me, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, I will be ready mentally and physically, and just be me.

“This is the biggest test of my career, every fight from now is like my world title fight. I believe he will throw caution to the wind early in the fight, but I will match him for everything he does, and I’m going into the ring to win every battle, every moment, every round, and every fight.”

Ritson, also a former WBA Inter-Continental Super Lightweight Champion, lost his last fight on March 4th, stopped by a body shot from Ohara Davies (24-2) in the ninth round. Donovan has finished-off his last two opponents with crushing liver punches.

“Under the trusted eye of trainer and co-manager, Andy Lee, I am confident Paddy will be primed and ready to showcase his boxing skills and punching power on May 25th,” commented NYC-based attorney Keith Sullivan, Donovan’s co-manager. “This is Paddy’s breakout year. I don’t envy anyone we match him against, because he’s on a mission to fight for a world title. He’s hungry, and he’s earned it, but first he has to handle business in the ring with a very formidable Ritson.”

Ideally, Paddy Donovan would like to put “Sandman” Ritson to sleep, then and only then, look toward Crocker, or whomever else stands in his path to a world title.


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