Paddy Donovan will make his Matchroom debut against Sam O’Maison in Dublin after officially splitting with Top Rank.
It was confirmed on Monday that the highly rated Limerick southpaw would feature on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s clash with Chantelle Cameron at the 3Arena on Saturday.
It will be the first time he has boxed since ending his promotional agreement with Top Rank, who signed him straight out of the amateurs.
But his manager Andy Lee, the former world middleweight champion, has confirmed that they reached a mutual and amicable decision to part ways after a lack of opportunities for the 24-year-old ‘Real Deal’.
Lee told BoxingScene.com: “We’ve agreed to a mutual release with Top Rank. They couldn’t provide him with the fights that he needed at this stage. It’s unfortunate for all parties but they’ve agreed to release him.
“It was definitely amicable and as a sign of good faith they even paid for his last fight, the opponent and Paddy. They were great to deal with and I can’t say a bad word about Top Rank. From top to bottom they’re fantastic but they just couldn’t give us the fights and he needs developing. It was a mutual agreement.”
Now Donovan has been given the opportunity to showcase his skills on one of the biggest shows in Ireland in many years – and Lee hopes it could lead to a long-term agreement.
He added: “We are hoping to work with Matchroom beyond this weekend. I work with them and DAZN as a commentator and I’m familiar with everybody at the company and they’re fantastic people, very professional. In an ideal world this weekend will be the start of a longer-term relationship.
“I’ve been hounding [Matchroom CEO] Frank Smith about it for a while now. It’s great to get it over the line and [Taylor’s manager] Brian Peters was a great help there too.”
And the 10-0 (7) starlet has been handed a tough test in Dublin as he takes on O’Maison, whose last action was a sixth round stoppage to Dalton Smith in his challenge for the British light-welterweight title.
O’Maison had looked set to return against Dean Sutherland in Aberdeen next month but it appears as though he will take on Donovan instead.
Lee said: “We were supposed to fight Callen McAulay but he pulled out late last week so we were scrambling. We had another guy who was Moldovan, 8-0, pretty good fighter but he didn’t take the fight in the end. Then we had a Nicaraguan, he couldn’t make the weight, then a Brazilian but he didn’t take it either.
“But Sam O’Maison was onto Matchroom, he needs a fight, his fight got cancelled so we’ve agreed to take the fight. It’s a good opportunity for Paddy to show how good he is against a fighter who was in against Dalton Smith recently.
“It’s a real fight, it’s not an undercard mismatch. This is a real fight and it’s what Paddy needs at this stage. We are done with knocking over journeymen.”