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Eric Donovan Goes to Hell and Back on RTE Before Massive Title Fight

Eric Donovan [15(8)-2(2)] has quite literally been to hell and back just weeks before he plans to reach boxing heaven.

In less than a month’s time, the Kildare favourite will challenge Khalil El Hadri [13(7)-1(0)] for the EBU EU featherweight title at the Europa Hotel but before he stars on top of a TG4 broadcast MHD fight night, the southpaw will get massive RTE exposure.

The Pascal Colins trained featherweight recently revealed he partook in the newest season of Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week, which will be starting on RTÉ One on Wednesday, September 7.

The southpaw joined 20 other celebrities in what has been billed as one of the biggest, baddest, maddest installments of the RTÉ series.

Over seven days, the BUI Celtic and Irish Champion, along with his fellow recruits, was required to pass numerous rigorous physical and mental tests. Surviving on two to three hours of sleep a night they had to overcome coldwater events, height tests and claustrophobic challenges as well as various trials of strength, stamina and determination.

It’s so grueling there is over a 90% failure rate over the seasons to date. It remains to be seen if Donovan has added to that statistic or if he added to Irish boxing’s success in the week-long process.

Kildare coach Niall Barrett who works with Gary Cully among others is one of very few who completed the week.

Barrett made it through eight grueling days of what most laymen would describe as torture to survive the process last year.

“As a coach, I constantly tell people to get out of their comfort zone and push a little harder,” The Unit 3 Fitness boss told the Kildare Nationalist last year.

“I just wanted to show people that I was willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I train a lot of kids and I suppose I just wanted to show them what you can achieve if you really put your mind to something. If you prepare and dedicate yourself towards it you can really achieve much more than you could ever expect.”

‘Pretty Boy’ Declan Geraghty had a go in season four but didn’t complete what most would describe as mission impossible.

Whether Donovan takes any learnings from the experience he can use in the crucial title fight remains to be seen but the TV exposure will be welcome ahead of the TV fight night that will also be populated by Tommy McCarthy, Eddie Treacy, Conor Quinn and includes an intriguing fight between Owen O’Neill and Martin Quinn as well as the all Cavan clash between Dominic Donegan and Owen Duffy.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years