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Eric Donovan explains how a drunken house party fight ended his Olympic dream

Eric Donovan [9(5)-0] has been hailed as the kind of fighter to lead a southern boxing revolution in Ireland since he has turned over.

The Kildare fighter was hailed as a talent with amateur experience and notoriety that could go far while bring a lot of casual fans on a successful journey with him.

His punditry work, clean-cut image, and ability to deal with the media were also qualities people felt could make him a crossover TV star.

Those backing him to lead the a long called-for revolution felt vindicated when he performed sensationally and held himself so well live atop a brilliant TG4 bill last Saturday night, winning the vacant Irish featherweight title with a fourth round stoppage of Stephen McAfee.

Yet, it was last night where he showed his true casual appeal, producing the kind of performance on Newstalk 106FM’s Off The Ball that will probably win him as many new fans as his Saturday night national television knockout display did.

Much like Andy Lee has done on the radio station over the years, ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ represented his sport superbly in the Off The Ball studios.

Rather than solely discuss his win and what it means moving forward, the Athy BC graduate discussed his past and the positive changes his has made in his life.

Donovan, it seems, wasn’t always the inspirational clean cut character he is now and did have troubled and more reckless times in his younger years.

Indeed, one such reckless incident cost him any hopes of fulfilling his Olympic dream as he reveals below.

Having fallen one win short of qualification for Beijing 2008, Donovan went into the London Olympic cycle full of hope.

A stellar 2010 boded extremely well but a broken hand suffered outside the ring

That incident prompted a change in the now-33-year-old and, with real emotional intelligence, he went on to explain how he got help and how he has changed his life around.

You can and should listen to the full interview below:

Kildare boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire


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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 sports for a living for over 20 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