Paddy Donovan labels Lewis Crocker 'easy work' as he makes fight demand

Photo shows Lewis Crocker in action against Conah Walker and (inset) Paddy Donovan at ringside
-Credit: (Image: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)

Paddy Donovan believes fighting Lewis Crocker would be "easy" work for the Limerick boxer. Donovan was at ringside in Birmingham on Saturday night to watch Crocker's WBA International welterweight title win over Conah Walker.

Crocker claimed a unanimous points win to extend his unbeaten record to 20-0, in what was his toughest fight to date in the pro ranks. The victory has also secured a huge all-Ireland showdown with Donovan later this year.

It was a tense night for Crocker as he edged past a teak-tough Walker at the Resorts World Arena. Two judges scored the bout 96-93, with the third 95-94 to earn the Sandy Row man his latest win.

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Some sitting at ringside, including former WBC World cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, believed Walker was unlucky not to get the nod. Donovan also had the Wolverhampton fighter clear on his scorecard.

It was a fight of contrasting styles, with Walker's work rate being countered by Crocker's quality, and heavier, punches. The 27-year-old Belfast man was dragged into the trenches on numerous occasions, but after 10 bruising rounds he emerged victorious.

Donovan wasn't impressed, however, and believes he will make light work of Crocker when the pair meet. And the Limerick man believes he should have home advantage for the bout, which was originally being marked for Belfast's SSE Arena.

He told the Irish Mirror: "I think Walker won the fight, but it's better for me that Crocker won and for the Irish fans. It looks like it's over the line, the deal is done.

Lewis Crocker v Conah Walker
Lewis Crocker v Conah Walker

Lewis Crocker v Conah Walker (Image: ©Mark Robinson Photography/Matchroom)

"We're going to bring it to Ireland, now the debate continues where it's going to be - Belfast, Dublin or Limerick. We're pushing for it to be in Limerick city/ Thomond Park so that's the aim.

"The fight is signed, we just need to get the arena now and anywhere down that part of the country would be great. Get it in Cork city or Limerick city. It would be massive for sport, massive for Ireland.

"The Irish people and people who know boxing know that I would beat Crocker on that performance. I'm very confident that I'd get the job done with ease."

Donovan made his case for Limerick to stage the fight to promoter Eddie Hearn after Saturday's event and the Matchroom boss says he will need to make the numbers work in any case.

Hearn said: "Paddy's come over, he wants to do it in Limerick. The problem is with Limerick, there's no history of the data and the numbers.

"We know that it's going to do well in Belfast so we'll have to see where makes sense to make the numbers make sense, but it's a hell of a fight and Paddy thinks he beats him anyway.

"Maybe Dublin either. If you can guarantee me the same sales in Dublin that you can in Belfast, I'll do it, but if you can't, don't moan about it.

"People are like 'you should do it there', but should I? I'm the one who has to pay all the bills so if it flops somewhere or doesn't do the numbers that you can do in Belfast, the whole business is a waste of time."

Hearn hailed Saturday's clash between Walker and Crocker as "one of the fights of the year".

He added: "I don't see how you can score that fight more than two rounds either way. A lot of the heavier work came from Lewis Crocker, but Walker didn't stop working.

"I thought he was sensational and he's so tough. He'll be gutted. It was a hell of a fight, one of the fights of the year."

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