Paddy Donovan vs. Lewis Ritson: Full video highlights

Paddy Donovan (left) and Lewis Ritson (right) engage in heated face-off ahead of their May 25 bout [Photo Courtesy @daznboxing on Instagram]
Paddy Donovan (left) and Lewis Ritson (right) engage in heated face-off ahead of their May 25 bout [Photo Courtesy @daznboxing on Instagram]

Super lightweights Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor headlined the premiere boxing event on May 25 but in the fifth fight of the event, Irish undefeated prospect Paddy Donovan made his highly-anticipated return to the ring. In his 14th professional fight, the 25-year-old welcomed a matchup with United Kingdom native Lewis Ritson.

Donovan, 25, has captured fan attention early in his career for his confidence and gamesmanship backed by several highlight-reel finishes. Entering the matchup with Ritson, 'The Real Deal' was one of the biggest favorites of the card at around 15-1 on most betting sites.

Ritson and Donovan shared no love lost in the lead-up to their featured bout, getting nose-to-nose in their final face-off on May 24.

From the opening bell, Ritson looked to apply pressure and back his opponent against the ropes. In contrast, Donovan appeared to hunt for counters behind his lengthy jab.

The fight was largely uneventful through the first half of the fight with under 100 total punches landed across five rounds, per the DAZN broadcast. Ritson's high guard and Donovan's constant movement led to both struggling to land on each other.

By the final few rounds, however, Donovan turned the tables and stopped moving backward, instead pushing the wilting Ritson against the ropes. The Irishman dominated round eight with almost no offense coming back in his direction.

Donovan immediately continued the pressure in the ninth round with the stoppage coming just 32 seconds into the frame.

Ritson never hit the canvas but the referee intervened after several unanswered power punches landed flush, ending the fight with a standing TKO.

The victory improved Donovan to 14-0 as a professional as he retained his WBA continental welterweight belt.

Ritson fell to 23-4 with the loss and suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career.

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