Belfast – Limerick’s Paddy Donovan is building some real momentum and after stopping English welterweight champion Danny Ball in November, he got straight back to action with a WBA Continental title defense against Argentina’s Williams Andres Herrera.
Donovan controlled the opening round with his southpaw jab. It wasn’t a hard, ram rod jab and he wasn’t busting Herrera up but it allowed him to control the distance and range of the fight completely. Herrera couldn’t mount any offence and retreated away, Donovan did load up on a couple of big left hands but was otherwise content to take his time.
The wiry Herrera tried to push forward in the second but constantly fell short with his attacks. Donovan did begin to throw his left hand more frequently to dissuade the Argentine whose own attempts at aggression were getting him into trouble. Wisely, he tried to use his jab more in the third and showed signs that he was beginning to gain something of a foothold. Donovan was unrushed however and continued to work away with his own jab and looked for openings for that left hand.
He found one of those to open the fourth round but Herrera did get a little closer and as he was struggling to reach Donovan’s head regularly, he began to target the body a little more with swinging left hands. On the whole though, Donovan looked to be well in control, controlling the distance and pace of the fight although he did collect a warning for punching around the back of the head in the fifth and also ate a flush jab after leaving his chin in the air. Buoyed by that flash of success, Herrera raised the tempo, he was able to work inside and land a couple of nice uppercuts and continuing to work the body. Suddenly, Donovan began to look dishevelled with blood coming from his nose.
Forced into a fight, Donovan dug in and found a some nice southpaw left hands as Herrera suddenly found it easy to get close and initiate exchanges. Herrera lost the sixth round but Donovan had to work hard for his success.
Herrera jumped back into the fray to start the seventh but Donovan suddenly found a left hook to the body and pain shot across Herrera’s face and he dropped to a knee. He got up at the count of eight but was inn clear discomfort and sank to the canvas again. Referee Bob Williams allowed him to continue but quickly jumped in when Donovan resumed his attack. It looked like a quick stoppage but Herrera (15-3, 6 KO’s) had been badly hurt.
The official time was 1.44 of the seventh and Donovan (13-0, 10 KO’s) passed his toughest test as a professional.