Welterweight Paddy Donovan (13-0, 10 KOs) hopes Lewis Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs) will be the step-up needed to show his ability when he climbs through the ropes this weekend at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. 

The Andy Lee-trained Donovan takes a significant step up when he faces Ritson on Saturday as part of the supporting cast to the anticipated rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall.

Despite Donovan acknowledging what Ritson will bring to the ring, he understands the pressure placed upon him to shine.

“Lewis is a tough fighter, a good competitor, an experienced former British champion, but he’s up against an amazing talent, and this is the fight I need and the performance I need to show people just how good I am,” Donovan said at the final press conference. 

“If I want to be a world-class fighter, these are the opponents I have to beat. I’m sure Lewis is going to test me early in the fight, but I am going to come through with flying colors in tremendous fashion.”

Donovan scored a seventh-round stoppage of Williams Andres Herrera in January in Belfast and battled a cold while doing so. The Irishman added that he has had no such problems this time around and is ready to show what he has been working on in the gym with former world champion Lee. 

“We’re at the stage where every fight is a world title fight for me. This is elite fighting, and you need to be ready. This time around, we are ready. We’ve had an amazing camp. We’ve ticked all the boxes and added new things to the game. I am in the best position I’ve been in as a professional fighter, and I am ready to put on a big performance,” Donovan added.

The 25-year-old is expecting Ritson to come forward, to make the contest scrappy, and fight at close quarters. 

“It’s obvious he’s not going to stand and box with me, it would be pointless doing that, so his other option is to come straight forward and fight,” claimed Donovan. “I’ll be ready and waiting for him and will answer anything that he comes at me with, and I am sure I am going to let him know that I am in the fight.”

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