Andy Lee backs debutant Donovan to ‘surprise’ and reach World level
Eric Donovan will take step one of a journey that could end with a World title victory, according to a man who knows a thing or two about the transition from amateur standout to World Champion – Andy Lee.
For almost a decade, Donovan ranked among Europe’s top amateur boxers, chalking up five Irish Elite National titles from Bantamweight through to Lightweight, a Four Nations gold, European Union bronze medal, and a bronze at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow.
Now, the popular Kildare native ditches the vest and punches for pay on a show co-promoted by FS Promotions and Ricky Hatton in the National Stadium tomorrow.
There is no doubt Donovan has the potential to compete at the highest level, but considering he is 30 there will have to be a fast-track element to his career if he is to reach World level and still be at his peak.
Donovan has confirmed turning over isn’t just a bucket list ambition, and he is confident he can get to the top – and his former Irish amateur team mate Lee agrees.
Donovan has often said that the former WBO middleweight champion is his favourite boxer.
Speaking recently Lee returned some of the praise and backed the Athy fighter to ‘surprise’ people and win major honours.
“Eric is going to be in some serious battles and he is going to show them all how much he can whack,” said the Limerick man.
“It’s a great move for Eric to turn pro, he has an outstanding record in the amateur ranks and can really make waves as a pro. His seasoning and years of experience at the top level will stand him in good stead, so I think he will surprise a lot of people.”
“Eric can definitely win a European title and has all the talent, skill and experience to go all the way and fight for world Honours,” said Lee.