Don’t Stop Believin’ – Eric Donovan can feel his journey picking up pace


Momentum is starting to build and Eric Donovan [4(3)-0)] believes he is now ready to be a headline star.

The Kildare featherweight headlined the ‘Celtic Clash 2: The Rising’ card in May, but this Saturday promises to be even bigger.

At the National Stadium, Donovan boxes for his first title in his toughest test, taking on Welsh champion Dai Davies for the BUI Celtic belt on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ bill.

A pro now for just over a year, the Athy boxer can really feel the difference and progress.

Donovan described how “I really can’t wait. I’ve loads of fans coming up. I’ve three buses!”

“At the beginning of my career it was hard enough to get one bus to come up, now I’ve three buses coming up from three different towns. One from Drogheda, one from Ballymore Eustace, and one from Athy – along with the many, many people who are driving up. It’s brilliant for me.

“I’m attracting sponsorship now, they’re coming in and supporting me, and the great thing about that is how it gives me reassurance, it’s almost like ‘okay Eric, we’re backing you,’ ‘alright, let me off the leash and let me go and do what I do,’ it’s brilliant.”

It’s been an uncertain journey for the 32 year old, but Donovan himself has remained certain in his belief.

The European and EU bronze medalist explained that “you can’t predict these things when you start out. A message to any young professional boxers out there, you can have a vision of where you would like to go in your career, but that’s not going to happen initially. You have to prove yourself, work hard, dedication.”

“I’ve always worked hard, always prepared well, and always believed – even when I hadn’t got sponsorship, even when I hadn’t got fans wanting to come and watch me box. I had to keep believing in what it was that I wanted, and hope that one day that people would believe in me too and that’s what’s happening now.”

“People are starting to sit up and take notice – and get behind Eric Donovan, the Lilywhite Lightning.”

Dai Davies is just the first big step on the ladder, and Donovan has ambitions that go right to the top. Already one of the most recognisable voices in Irish boxing due to his media work, Donovan is keen for his punches rather than his punditry to grace Irish television screens.

The St Michael’s fighter outlined how “I hope that I can contribute to bringing big time boxing back to Ireland. Like, why can’t I? You’ve got to have that belief in yourself.”

“Bernard Dunne did it, people believed in him and they got behind him. I’ve got World class credentials and attributes, so it’s a matter of me believing in that and developing more and more, and keep taking risks.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Headlined by the Eric Donovan v Dai Davies BUI Celtic featherweight title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Regan Buckley v Carl McDonald, Gerard Whitehouse, James Cahill, Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Keane McMahon, Niall O’Connor, John Joyce and Bernard Roe.

Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from the Healthy Living Centre in Athy, by calling Laura on 086 7949 406, or online at Ticketmaster.ie.

Kildare Boxing and Eric Donovan are proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie