Eric Donovan [13(7)-1(1)] believes he could be close to bringing the Bernard Dunne days back to Irish boxing.
The Kildare fighter has secured a shot at the European Union title and hopes claiming the strap would spark a sequence of events that would lead to a big-time boxing return.
The former amateur standout and profesional Irish champion believes he may have to claim the crown by beating Haithem Laamouz [17(7)-1(0)] on the road – and dreams of an RTE broadcast homecoming.
“I may have to go away somewhere in Europe to box for that title, and then it would be a dream for me, and I’ve always dreamed of this, to come back and defend that European title in Ireland, maybe in the second half of 2021, and to have it live on RTÉ Sport,” Donovan told RTE’s Game On.
“Bring back the special nights that Bernard Dunne brought, and I don’t think that is too far a reach.”
While Belfast has forged a reputation as one of Europe’s best boxing cities, things down south haven’t been as fruitful since the retirement of Bernard Dunne.
The former super bantamweight world champ brought boxing to the fore in Dublin, sold out The Point, and drew massive TV viewing figures in the late noughties.
Willie Casey gave it a go, Andy Lee fought on RTE and there have been shows on TG4, but nothing has quite filled the hole left by the Clondalkin native.
‘Lilywhite Lightning’ believes he could be in a position to change that, although it’s not the only option the 35-year-old can pursue.
“A year ago, I didn’t know where my career was going, now I’m talking about title fights, different divisions, and homecomings, and it’s a great position to be in.”