Andy Lee: Paddy Donovan is 'the most talented fighter I've worked with out of all of them'

  • Tom Ward

Andy Lee has worked with some of the biggest names in boxing during his retirement.

The Body Puncher has coached the likes of Tyson Fury, Joseph Parker and Jason Quigley, present in the Gypsy King’s corner for his Las Vegas trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder in October.

But according to Lee, none of them can compare to Paddy Donovan.

Donovan, nicknamed ‘The Real Deal’, is considered one of the most exciting prospects to come out of the Republic of Ireland in recent years after becoming a 13-time Irish national champion in 2019.

The 23-year-old from Limerick was signed by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum after compiling a 161-5 record in the unpaid ranks and made an instant impression on his professional debut by knocking out Arturo Lopez in the first round.

“Paddy is the most talented fighter I’ve worked with out of all of them,” Lee exclusively told

“He can punch, he can box, he’s got a great brain, good feet, good hands, everything.

“As long as he keeps his feet grounded there’s no reason why he can’t go all the way. He’s a very humble guy. He looks flashy but he’s religious and he’s one of the best prospects out there I think.”

Andy Lee pictured with Paddy Donovan

Once described by Arum as ‘the best-looking fighter since Muhammad Ali’, Donovan was last seen in action when he beat Miroslav Serban on the undercard of Josh Taylor‘s win over Jack Catterall at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow last weekend.

The Limerick man’s Czech opponent struggled to keep up with Donovan for much of the fight before the referee finally put him out of his misery after he suffered an injury to his left ear in the final round of six.

“I thought he boxed a brilliant fight,” Lee added.

“I don’t think he could have done any better. The guy Serban is a very hard guy to look good against. He’s a very hard guy to beat.

“He systematically broke him down and got the stoppage which I would have liked to have come by a punch but obviously the punch caused the ear injury.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 26: Paddy Donovan (L) and Miroslav Serban (R) exchange punches during their welterweight fight at The OVO Hydro on February 26, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“I couldn’t be more happy with him. I couldn’t be more happy. The whole thing I thought it was great, getting the six rounds, I couldn’t be happier.”

Lee also revealed he was ‘blown away by his talent’ after the pair were introduced to each other by his father Martin Donovan.

“He was the reason I got back into boxing,” he admitted.

“I was happily retired, not really doing anything, but I saw Paddy and I was just blown away by his talent.

“I thought if I was going to get back into it, I’d like to work with him, and now here we are.

“He’s just had a hand injury so he’s had some time out since August but I’d like to see him out again at least three or four times this year.”

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