FIGHTING on the Katie Taylor undercard tonight, Ennis boxer Paddy Donovan moved to 11-0 with a very impressive TKO against Sam O’Maison.
The English fighter came to Dublin with 17 victories and just four defeats, and was potentially the most dangerous opponent Donovan had met.
But from the first bell there was only one man in it, Donovan dominating the action, softening his opponent up with some big shots before ending it in the sixth.
It was impressive stuff from a focused looking Donovan, as he punished the head and body of O’Maison throughout, winning every round. Generally on the front foot himself, Donovan dealt easily with any O’Maison attacks, showing some neat footwork and elusiveness on the few occasions it was required.
While the 3Arena was still far from full, there was plenty of vocal support for the Ennis man, with the noise levels rising every time he applied the pressure.
The first stanza saw Donovan set the tone, establishing his jab while he landed several hard lefts to the body of the O’Maison. He was coming forward throughout and O’Maison struggled to impose himself.
O’Maison did have little pockets of success in the second, but not enough to take the round, and Donovan was continuing to punish the body with hard left hands.
He was dominant again in the third and landed flush right on the bell, something that reflected the three minutes of boxing that preceded that final blow.
Donovan wobbled O’Maison with a right hand early in the fourth, and it was becoming increasingly clear that he was trying to line up a big shot that could end the fight or at least provide a turning point.
In the sixth the moment finally came, after a big Donoval left hand O’Maison was left struggling. Sustained pressure saw him fall to the canvas and his corner saved him from further punishment.
The fight was seen around the world, having been broadcast live on DAZN, introducing the Ennis man to a major international audience.
In the immediate aftermath of the fight Donovan was interviewed before the crowed with Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn who lauded his talent.
Speaking to the Champion afterwards a beaming Donovan confirmed that he has agreed terms with Matchroom going forward, and will appear on their shows.
He said he had shown some quality in forcing the stoppage. “It was a good peformance. Sam O’Maison is a tough durable opponent but my boxing IQ and skill level is to another level.”
A KO had always been on the cards, he felt. “That was the plan, gradually break him down, look for some big shots and obviously look for the stoppage. And it was executed perfectly. “
Now at 11-0 and with a new deal with one of the world’s biggest promoters, things are looking good for Andy Lee’s protege.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.