‘Lilywhite Lightning’ makes his UK debut at the York Hall and plans to take in the experience in more ways than one.
A student of the game, Donovan can appreciate the gravity of the historic venue – while an away day is perfect preparations for what could be on the horizon.
Having won the Irish title last time out, the centrepiece of the Celtic Clash series may have to take some away corner opportunities.
Fights at home, potentially on TG4, are still in the pipeline – but lucrative fights in the UK or Spain on bigger promotions are also possibilities.
33-year-old Donovan explained that that “I’m just looking forward to it, to build my experience because I think I’m going to have to travel for big fights in the very near future.”
“It will be a good chance for me and my coaches to get that experience of travelling away as a team, doing the weight, staying away together as a team, and going through all the processes as a professional boxer and a professional team.”
It won’t be all business, though, for Donovan who is looking to savour fighting at the spiritual home of British boxing – while an overseas trip with travelling fans means that the ultra-committed Athy southpaw may even enjoy a night out afterwards.
Donovan noted how “anybody I’ve ever spoken to about boxing over the years, they’ve always spoken about the York Hall and what kind of an atmosphere the York Hall is.”
“The National Boxing Stadium in Ireland, when it’s full, it will take a fair venue to beat that, but I’ve heard so many people that I respect say that the York Hall, when it’s full, that the atmosphere is electric, that the tension is palpable.”
“I really want to get in there and fight in that hall for that reason and also because it’s an iconic hall, a lot of my heroes, boxing greats, have all fought there – Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, they’ve all boxed there, Katie Taylor as well. It will be great to follow in their footsteps.”
Training with Olympic silver medallist Kenny Egan and Joe Clifford at Macho Gym, Donovan has been busy since his stunning national title win over Stephen McAfee in March and is keen to keep the foot to the floor versus game Nicaraguan Moises Mojica [9(6)-7(2)-2].
Donovan outlined how “preparation has gone great, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve a good crowd coming over and I’ve a lot of family and friends over there too that are going to be making the trip down.”
“There’s a lot of Irish in London. I think it’s going to be a special night, a special atmosphere, and I’m ready. It’s going to be a great night.”
“All I wanted to do when I turned pro was to create memories, lasting memories, and hopefully June 22nd is going to be one.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)