A different kind of test – Eric Donovan ready for comeback fight


Eric Donovan makes his return this weekend but expect function rather than fireworks.

The Athy featherweight southpaw is in the process of recovering from a fractured index finger on his left hand and will take his first tentative steps back on Saturday night on the ‘Celtic Clash 6’ card at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh.

Donovan returns in a six-round contest and isn’t expected to face a major test in terms of opportunity.

However, the fight remains a crucial one, and the Kildare former amateur will be testing himself in another sense as he steps back through the ropes for the first time since February. The importance of getting back in the ring and throwing punches after five months can’t be overstated, and Donovan acknowledges this.

“I’m feeling good but obviously it hasn’t been the greatest camp in terms of injuries,” Donovan told Irish-Boxing.com.

‘Lilywhite Lightning’ freely admits that the lay-off has been tough but he has stayed positive and is now looking forward to big things.

Donovan outlined how “I’ve been keeping my cardio up and trying to stay mentally strong so I’m just looking forward to getting back under the lights because that’s what I’m meant to do. That’s my job, I’m a professional boxer, I need to fight.”

“I know I have a big fight on the horizon, possibly Irish title and then hopefully after that the European title.”

“I have to look at the bigger picture but also keep my eye on the ball”

A win on Saturday will see Donovan move to 8-0 and become eligible for consideration for the European rankings.

The 32-year-old is happy with the opportunity to build his record while remaining on the road to recovery.

It’s a minor step back, a ‘pit-stop’ if you will, but it is wholly necessary and appreciated by Donovan who noted how “it’s good that you can do that because when you have had injuries you do need something like this, almost like a friendly match but not.”

“Something to let you out there and test a few things and at the same time giving you a replica of what you’re going to be doing very soon.”

“I have to make sure everything is in tact, mentally and physically, before the bigger fights.”

“People don’t realise that, as a pro boxer, if you’re not fighting you need to be sparring – and I haven’t been getting a lot of either. It’s important for me to get back out there, get the rounds under my belt.”

“I’m not putting any real pressure on myself. I’m just getting out and I’m going to enjoy myself and do what I’m supposed to do.”

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

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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