Yesterday it was confirmed 13-time Irish champion Paddy Donovan has linked up with Andy Lee as a trainer and manager after signing a long-term deal with America’s promotional behemoth Top Rank.
Donovan hails from Our Lady of Lourdes club in Limerick and has decided to avoid a potential Olympic medal in favour of a move to the pro ranks.
Massive news for Irish boxing: Limerick sensation Paddy Donovan, 20, has turned professional and signed a promotional deal with Bob Arum's @trboxing. He'll be managed by none other than his fellow Treaty man @AndyLeeBoxing. Debut to be announced soon. pic.twitter.com/CgGZAPxWzb
— Gavan Casey (@GavanCasey) June 20, 2019
Former world champion Lee has remained involved in the sport through commentary and punditry roles. He had a brief stint training his former Irish team-mate Eric Donovan and has experience of working under both Manny Steward and Adam Booth.
Paddy Donovan is just phenomenal pic.twitter.com/5j4OOpYgNu
— Joe O'Neill (@J0E_90) November 18, 2018
Donovan, who joins a strong Irish presence in Top Rank which included Michael Conlan, declared his delight with the deal.
I’m honored to sign with Top Rank. They are the best in boxing.
My goal is to become a world champion, and there is no one better than Top Rank to help me achieve my goal.
It is another blow for the amateur game coming weeks after the news another Olympic medal hopeful Joe Ward has elected to go pro. In many ways, it is the inevitable consequence of prolonged controversy that continues to haunt the sport. Amateur boxing's uncertainty stems from the International Olympic Committee's issues with AIBA and potential sanctions.