Eric Donovan [14(8)-2(2)] is building up to a big finish.
The Kildare fighter starts his final year in boxing in the Europa Hotel tonight and hopes it’s step one to a farewell 12 months to remember.
Having seen Plan B fail to deliver the Kildare fighter will now look to re-implement Plan A and has set his sights on a European title shot.
The famous EBU belt was the goal when the former amateur standout turned over and he came close to fighting for the gateway strap when he was mandated for the EU title.
However, the Pascal Collins trained talent was forced to pull out of a fight with Mario Alfano due to a rib injury and went a different route since.
The 36-year-old explored away corner options on TV cards and suffered defeat to both Zelfa Barrett and Robeisy Ramirez.
He now has his sights set on a move back to European level and possibly becoming Ireland’s sixteenth European champion.
“I’ve already told everybody that this is gonna’ be my final year and I was gonna’ give it everything I have,” Donovan told Irish-boxing.com ahead of his fight with Engel Gomez [8(4)-9(2)-1]on tonights’ MHD card.
“The Ramirez fight was a disaster … for me personally. I’m really eager to bounce back and put on a good performance Saturday night and then push on towards maybe getting another chance, maybe European level. That’s always been my ultimate goal as a professional.”
Although he does admit he “can’t be picky and choosy, I have to just take what I can get at my age.”
Donovan dared to dream last time out, but suffered defeat to two-time Olympic gold medal winner Robeisy Ramirez on a Sky Sports broadcast card.
Reflecting on the stoppage reverse he shared some interesting thoughts, suggesting he was too relaxed going into war.
“I went into the ring too casual. When you’re getting into the ring in a prize fighting environment, in a gladiatorial arena, you have to bring out the fight, you have to unleash the beast,” he continues.
“I was trying to minimise the Ramirez fight with the crowd, 15,000 people and the cameras and the Sky Sports and ESPN and all that. I was just trying to disconnect from it emotionally and I ended up disconnecting so much that I was just there but not there.”
“I removed the emotion but that’s not really a wise thing to do. You need the emotion for a fight of that magnitude.”
“I was always of the viewpoint that we would navigate some of the earlier rounds and then warm into the fight and start pushing him back but stay away from his left hand. From the opening bell, Ramirez just jumped into his stride and started orchestrating the fight. He had me on edge. I couldn’t relax, he was just stalking me. I wanna’ give him the credit, he’s a world-class opponent, he never allowed me to settle.”
“The guy is exceptional, I’m never ashamed to lose to someone like that. The only thing I’m disappointed with is not giving a better account of myself.”
Picture Credit Belfast Boxers.