Donovan hopes to secure homecoming fight in Limerick

Paddy Donovan proved at the Ulster Hall last night that he had more than just fast hands and boy-band looks following his stoppage victory over Williams Andres Herrera. 

Donovan’s face was swollen and bloodied after digging deep against Herrera, who played his part in making sure the Limerick native learned lessons and overcame adversity for the first time in his career. 

Donovan claimed a seventh-round stoppage, scoring two knockdowns, which ultimately saw referee Bob Williams wave off the contest just past the halfway mark of the round. 

However, Donovan showed signs of fatigue and vulnerability, which allowed Herrera to regain a foothold and land several combinations. 

Post-fight, Donovan admitted that trainer Andy Lee had warned him that he would need to prove himself against a durable opponent like Herrera.

“In camp, Andy said to me, ‘Paddy, there’s one thing that we need for you – it’s durable fights where you have to dig deep’,” Donovan told DAZN.

“Tonight was an example of that. I had to dig deep. It’s a fast turnaround from the last camp. I didn’t get much time really to prepare for it, and I got sick as well through Christmas. It’s a win; we move on, and we look forward to bigger and better things.”

Donovan refused to commit to facing divisional and Irish rival Lewis Crocker, and there has been speculation in Belfast throughout fight week about whether the talented pair will face each other in 2024. 

“The fight would have to make sense,” Donovan explained. “It is a stadium fight, but I am interested if an appealing offer is put to me.”

If Donovan faces Crocker or another opponent, he is targeting a May return and hopes to land a major fight in his hometown of Limerick.

“We’re back in May. I want big fights in Ireland. And we want to make Limerick happen sooner rather than later,” said the prospect-turned-contender.