Donovan on the night teammate Parker shocked the world and Wilder

Welterweight prospect Paddy Donovan had a front-row seat to his teammate Joseph Parker’s biggest win when the heavyweight shook up the world to slay Deontay Wilder last month.

Now, Donovan wants to write his own headlines on Saturday, January 27, against Williams Andres Herrera, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

The undefeated welterweight Donovan sat near the corner for Parker’s fight against Wilder in Saudi Arabia. His trainer, Andy Lee, was the lead voice in Parker’s corner and Donovan recalled what it was like. 

“See, some coaches and some fighters go into these big, massive fights, thinking of a payday,” Donovan told ProBox TV. “Here I am going up against Deontay Wilder if I can hold my own, if I could do this, if I could do that, I am bagging a lot of money for my family. Securing finances for life, but for us and our gym, we have a very strong winning mentality.”

He continued: “Wilder was a super-hot favorite going into that fight to pull off an extraordinary win, like that is amazing. Not just for Andy or Joseph, but for fighters like me in the gym. They get to see that even when you are the underdog we can still pull through.

“I was right beside Joseph’s corner. The whole stadium seemed to be quiet at the start because the fans are not as electric as the USA, the UK or Ireland. They are getting used to the new scheme of boxing out there. I was [yelling at Wilder] saying he was shell shocked, he was a beaten man.”

Donovan further remembered that even though Parker was winning, Wilder is known for his power, so at any moment the tide could change. 

“I felt like he was hearing me because it felt like he was listening to everything we were saying from the corner,” Donovan added. “We get off. Winning the first, winning the second, winning the third, we are all looking at each other. It couldn’t be going any better, but things could change in the blink of an eye with Deontay Wilder.”

That punch never came for Wilder, and Parker now will head back to Saudi Arabia to face Zhilei Zhang in a heavyweight clash. 

Donovan, meanwhile, looks to continue the gym’s winning ways as he takes his next step toward where he is going in the sport on Saturday.