Eric Donovan found out just how good Robeisy Ramirez was tonight.
Having commentated on Ramirez’s two Olympic successes, the Kildare fighter got the chance to experience what the Cuban was all about up close and personal – and once the disappointment of defeat wears off he will be a bigger fan of the fighter he billed as a ‘class act’ going into the fight.
The Cuban managed to stop ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ in the third round of the chief support to Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall’s eagerly anticipated undisputed light welterweight title fight, producing a brilliant left hook to take Donovan’s legs away from him and force the referee to step in and stop the fight.
The Celtic Warrior Gym fighter suffered a flash knockdown in the first and most likely lost the second but wasn’t overwhelmed or overawed whilst in against the double Olympic champion.
For the most part, it was a chess match between two former amateurs of note, that Rameriez was shading before he pulled out a checkmate punch.
It was always going to be a tough task for the Kildare fighter, who had no problem billing Ramirez as one of the ‘greatest amateurs of all time’ in the build up.
However, questions as to whether the Top Rank fighter was ready for or suited to the pro ranks gave Irish fans hope. Unfortunately for Donovan, the Cuban answered those questions via an emphatic fashion with a class and clinical performacne.
There was a chess element to the opening two minutes of the fight, two southpaws feeling each other out before a left hand caught the 36-year-old Irish fighter square and he visited the canvas as a result.
It was a flash knockdown and the Pascal Collins trained feather wasn’t hurt – but the shot gave the Cuban confidence and he seemed to instantly slot into a rhythm.
The St Michael’s Athy fighter was competitive in the second but a brilliantly landed long uppercut drew blood and Rameriez just looked the more polished of the two technicians.
The Mark Dunlop trained Donovan put together his best combination of the fight in the third but it only sparked a dangerous response from the former amateur sensation.
A left hook landed on the inspirational Donovan’s temple, buckling his legs, prompting him to turn his back and forcing the referee Victor Loughlin to jump in.
The defeat sees Donovan drop to 14-2 while his classy opponent improves to 9-1.