Limerick's Paddy Donovan
LIMERICK welterweight Paddy Donovan reckons he has the game plan and ring craft to beat Antrim’s Commonwealth finalist Aidan Walsh in the National Elite semi-finals in Dublin on Saturday night.
Both men go head-to-head over three, three-minute rounds at the National Stadium. The winner will meet Galway’s Kieran Molloy, the defending champion, or Dublin’s Luke Maguire in the 69kg decider on February 23.
Donovan racked up a unanimous decision over Conor Ivors (St Francis BC) in an all-Limerick quarter-final last weekend, while Walsh recorded two impressive victories including a 4-1 split verdict over four-time titlist Dean Walsh.
The Ulster champion had to settle silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games after dropping a unanimous decision to England’s AIBA World No. 7 Pat McCormack in Gold Coast, Australia last April.
Donovan, however, is unlikely to be phased by AIBA top ten ranked boxers, by proxy or otherwise, as he completely outclassed America’s World No. 8 ranked Quinton Randall in the USA last March.
That stunning win hailed by IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne, the former WBA World super-bantamweight champion.
“It was a good performance (versus Ivors) and I’m hoping for another one on Saturday. Walsh moves a lot but doesn’t land many punches on his opponent, said Donovan who boxes out of the Our Lady Of Lourdes club in the city
“We have a good game plan, like always. I know what I have to do, I’ve done it hundreds of times and it's just one step closer to proving myself to all the great Irish fighters who said I will win the Elites and get myself on the plane for Tokyo 2020.”
The slick Treaty City southpaw will have his father Martin and Shane Daly working his corner at the home of Irish boxing.
“My Dad and coach Shane Daly have been in my corner since day one. It’s always great to beat the USA (Randall). I’ve done it two times out of two in Russia and the USA. Beating world ranked fighters is always a boost for me,” added the 2015 AIBA World Junior finalist.
Meanwhile, the St Francis BC will be guaranteed an Elite crown if they win two fights on Friday night.
St Francis BC pair Myles Casey and Tommy Casey, a nephew to Myles, meet Laois’ Christian Cekiso and Dublin’s Patryk Adamus in the featherweight semi-finals.
Tommy, with Ken Moore working his corner, beat former Elite finalist Adam Courtney last weekend. Myles, the 2015 Elite champion, received a bye into the last four.
Martin Keenan, the 2017 champion, is also between the ropes this weekend. The Rathkeale BC man is in against Galway's Gydis Linskyas on Saturday night for a place in the super heavy final.
Keenan took all five judges with him en route to victory over Ulster’s Stephen McMonagle last Saturday.
The weigh-ins for the weekend’s semi-finals will be held between 8am and 9am and 12pm and 1pm on Friday and Saturday at the National Stadium.