Donovan gives Kennedy logistical lowdown but leaves big fight advice to experienced Collins

Eric Donovan gave Niall Kennedy the Matchroom logistics lowdown, but is well aware his new gym mate didn’t need much big fight advice beyond that.

The Gorey heavyweight has been handed a similar career changing fight to the one the Kildare man had over the summer.

Like the Irish featherweight champion’s Fight Camp clash with Zelfa Barrett, the Wexford big man’s Alen Babic fight is a bout against a fancied Matchroom prospect, behind closed doors and live on Sky Sports.

More importantly it’s an opportunity to alter the trajectory of his career.

“In terms of platform yes it is quite similar. It’s a great opportunity for Niall to make an impact,” admitted Donovan when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.

Having experienced the pressure of such a clash, Donovan would seem ideal to lend advice to his fellow Celtic Warrior Gym fighter.

However, with Pascal Collins on the scene, the Athy man never felt the need and just discussed the logistics around testing and so fort.

“We spoke a bit about the logistical side of things with regards testing and expectations when you return home etc.

“Packie was on Matchroom shows before with Craig [O’Brien] and Spike [O’Sullivan] so I’m sure he has good guidance around that.”

Although he may not have offered up to Kennedy, due to the fact it’s experienced coach Collins’ job, as a student of the game and respected pundit, Donovan no doubt has a view on the fight.

He believes a composed and rational start could allow the Irish heavyweight to reap reward in the second half of a fight with an all or nothing banger.

“It’s heavyweight boxing so anything can happen. Babic fights to destroy, he gets very emotional in his fights and his interviews, he exerts a lot of his energy doing this.

“So I think if Niall can stay composed and defensively sound for the early rounds and bring Babic into the second half of the fight, then he can win.”

A victory for Kennedy would increase the number of Irish fighter to have impressed on Sky Sports of late and with faint talk of a Belfast show could prove another excuse for Matchroom to return to Ireland.

With Donovan being one those with Sky links and keen to fight a home, a Kennedy win would prove beneficial for him. However, rather unselfishly he has his fingers crossed for his stablemate first and foremost going into Sunday’s clash.

“I think Niall winning would be good for Niall and for Irish boxing in general, so here’s hoping he can do it,” he adds before reflecting on his Matchroom experience.

“What stood out for me was how brilliant everything was from the time we arrived until the time we left. Very professional and we were looked after very, very well. So smooth, it was just top class and a very pleasant experience.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com