Matchroom eager to make Lewis Crocker-Paddy Donovan next – Frank Smith

Matchroom returned to Belfast last night with Lewis Crocker dispatching of Jose Felix in the main event at Ulster Hall. 

Limerick’s Paddy Donovan was also in action, taking out Williams Andres Herrera in the seventh round. The talk of the week was a proposed bout between Crocker and Donovan, with both undefeated and boasting records of 19-0 (11 KOs) and 13-0 (10 KOs).

However, the notion from all involved, including both Donovan and Crocker, was to build the fight in the hope of garnering more cash from the proposed matchup. 

“We want to make fights that make sense, that sellout arenas,” Frank Smith, Matchroom CEO, said to ProBox TV. “That’s a fight that sells an arena. I think take that to the SSE [Arena, Belfast], that’s a fight that makes a lot of sense. People want to see great fights, that is a great fight. It is not like they are 6-0, 5-0, they are both at a stage in their career where it is the kind of fight that makes sense. But again, I might be wrong and it doesn’t happen, but that is the focus for us to try and get that fight done.”

Crocker headlined his first event in his city following on from a dominant points win over fellow Belfastman Tyrone McKenna in December. Crocker came in as the underdog on the Michael Conlan-Jordan Gill card coming out from the show as Belfast boxing’s latest flag bearer, on a night that saw Conlan suffer another knockout defeat.

“So many of these fights in the past that we speak about and then people say ‘wait for it, build it up’,” Smith added. “Loads of things happen. People move up in weight, people lose and it changes the value of the fight. I think now is the time to make that fight happen. Lewis coming off a finish like that tonight, Paddy had albeit a tough fight but I think he did really well. He showed a lot of heart in there. He boxed well, but I just think it is the right fight to do next. I’m not saying it definitely happens next, but it is what I want to see.

“They have all got to agree, I’m just saying that is the perfect fight to do next. I think both guys are up for it now, I know the teams are certainly up for it. Let’s see, it is something for us to work on over the next week or so.”