Eric Donovan [3(2)-0] is less than a year into his pro career, but the Athy man takes centre stage next Saturday night.
‘Lilywhite Lightning’ headlines ‘Celtic Clash 2’ at the National Stadium on May 27th, and it’s a dream come true for a man who doesn’t have time to hang around.
31 year old Donovan turned pro late, but the former Elite amateur has the talent, drive, and attitude that could see him in big fights very soon.
Such are his circumstances, the Kildare featherweight has a different approach to the pro game than most.
“I’m not pushed about records and ‘undefeated’ and stuff like that,” he outlined.
“I just want to get in good fights and go and win. I don’t fear losing. If I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough.”
“There’s too much protection in professional boxing, people protecting records. If they didn’t do it, we’d probably have a lot more shows, probably have a lot more exciting fights.”
“Just get in and fight! I’ve lost so many times in the Seniors, I’ve lost to my own clubmate, I lost to my own clubmate in the WSB. It’s life, get on with it, sport’s very short”
Donovan, a qualified counsellor and fitness instructor, is in the pro game for memories not money, and explained that “it’s not about the money, it’d be lovely if you made a few bob out of it, but it’s not really about the money for me.”
“For me, I feel like I let myself down in my amateur career – albeit I won an awful lot considering. I want to look back on my professional career and say ‘wow, I did that, and made a lot of people happy,’ and maybe pass that knowledge on.”
Initially due to face Spaniard Juan Luis Gonzalez over eight, a change means that Donovan is now awaiting a new opponent. While it may not be in this fight, the 2010 European bronze medalist wants to be in dramatic, close contests.
Donovan reasoned how “I’m never going to have memorable fights if I’m not going to be in fights where you have to go through a few different ‘stories.'”
“You look at the Joshua-Klitschko fight, that was a fight of many stories. How many times did your opinion change during that fight? My opinion changed, it went from ‘Joshua is the real deal’ to ‘oh no, it’s too early for him’ etc.”
“I want to be in those fights. I want people to be excited, have their head in their hands, I want to feel under pressure, I want to take some shots, I really want to test myself.”
“My dream is to get a crack at the European title. If I win a European title it’ll be an absolute dream come true, but I know there’s a couple of stepping stones before I get there.”
“But then, if I get there, I’m not going to say ‘right I’ve reached my ultimate dream,’ and walk away. If I get there, I’m open to whatever, and anything after that is a bonus.”
The May 27th card, the largest in Irish boxing history, also features Jay Byrne, Mike Perez, Stephen Carroll, Sean Creagh, Vladimir Belujsky, Rohan Date, Carl McDonald, Allan Phelan, Gerard Whitehouse, and Lynn Harvey, as well as debutants Liam Gaynor, John Joyce, Regan Buckley, John Corcoran, Stephen McAfee, and Keane McMahon.
Tickets for Celtic Clash 2 are priced at €15 (Under 15s), €30, €40, €45, and €55 (Premium), and are available from the boxers involved.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
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