Wednesday 22 November 2017

Eric eager for clash

Rté analyst Donovan is set for his toughest fight

Eric Donovan
Eric Donovan

A five-times Irish national amateur champion, European bronze medalist and insightful boxing analyst for RTé, Eric Donovan is ready for the toughest challenge of his career.

Scheduled to meet Spanish fighter Juan Luis Gonzalez, (9-5, 3 KOs) at the National Stadium in the Celtic Clash 2 show on May 27, Donovan will be meeting an experienced pro campaigner after just three pro fights.

"There's a lot at stake," he says. "I want to test myself against guys who have ambition. This guy won't want to lose."

Donovan stopped his last two opponents in the second round. Scheduled for eight rounds, this fight could take places he hasn't been before.

"That's what I want," enthuses Eric. "I want to be involved in memorable fights. I don't want to wait to learn how I am as a professional fighter. I want to know now."

Jono Carroll (13-0) will be fighting for an IBF super featherweight title next month. Gonzalez took him the distance in his last fight in December.

"This will give me an indication of where I'm at," says Eric. "I'm not in the mood for hanging about. I'm ready."

Donovan is dropping down to featherweight.

"I'm naturally a 62 kilo boxer," he says. "I want to use every advantage I have and show my strength and speed."

The Kildare man's plan is to claim the vacant Irish featherweight title this year.

"That would put me in the top 15 in the European rankings," he explains. "Then I want to march on towards a European belt in 2018. That's the trajectory I'm on."

In bullish mood, Donovan throws down a challenge to any Irish boxer who thinks he can stop him.

Not wasting

"I'm not wasting my time trying to get a shot at the super featherweight title," he says. "There are so many people there who won't box. John Joe Nevin, Jono Carroll, Declan Geraghty and Ciaran McVarnock. Ian Tennyson won it but is not interested in defending it. Anthony Cacace is on a route towards an English belt."

Kildare featherweight Allan Phelan ( 7-2-1) is ranked ahead of Donovan. Any chance the two might meet?

"If he has plans to become Irish champion, the fight is there for him," says Donovan. "It would be a fantastic fight. We'd make history. Two Kildare men fighting for an Irish title. It would be great to have it on the undercard of a big event like Katie Taylor's world title fight in Dublin."

"This is a tough game," says Eric. "But I love fighting. People don't see the hard work that goes in before you dance under the lights. I'm doing this because I want to achieve something."

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