Eric Donovan promises to shine brighter than ‘future star’ Zelfa Barrett

Zelfa Barrett [23(14)-1(0)] has all the ingredients to be a boxing star, but it won’t become a name at the expense of Eric Donovan [12(7)-0], warns Lilywhite Lightning.

‘Future’ is the key word when Eddie Hearn heralded the Commonwealth champion as a ‘future star’ and Manchester’s next boxing hero, according to the Irish featherweight champion.

Donovan is adamant the present belongs to him and is confident he will be the name on Sky Sports and DAZN viewers lips come August 14.

The pair are scheduled to trade leather in on Matchroom’s Fight Card series and the Kildare fighter says he will make the most of the chance he has called for.

“I think he can be a star, he’s at a good age and with a great team behind him. But I have no doubt in my mind that the 14th of August is my time,” Donovan told Irish-boxing.com.

When the fight was first announced many surmised Hearn had heard the clamour surrounding Donovan and was willing to have a look for himself.

However, it’s since emerged the Matchroom boss has high hopes for Barrett and has signed him with an eye on developing him into a name.

Throw in the fact the five time National Elite champion and European medal winner has to move up to super feather and the Manchester fighter assumes A side status.

Yet for Donovan this is the chance he has craved and he pays no heed to who the promoter may want to win.

He argues he may the B side, but he is not a B quality fighter.

“It’s no big deal, I’m only the B side because he’s a Matchroom fighter on a Matchroom show. But he has never boxed anyone like me before, he’ll soon find out A B are only letters in the alphabet,” he adds before revealing he rates ‘Brown Flash’.

“I rate him highly, he’s a solid opponent and at a great level. I’m looking forward to the test.”

Speaking recently, Barrett, who was respectful for the most part tried to put the pressure on the Kenneth Egan trained fighter heading into what should be confirmed as a ranking title fight.

The Manchester native stressed at 35, this could be Donovan’s first and last to make a significant impact in the sport.

Donovan doesn’t put much weight on pressure talk and asked if onus was on his opponent to perform said: “I’m not sure, it is possible. I know if it was me and a team like Matchroom invested in me and set big plans for my future, I would want to impress and that would add pressure, but that’s actually not a bad thing.”

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 sport for a living for 19 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