EU European title dream is still alive declares Eric Donovan

Eric Donovan [13(7)-1(1)] is down but by now means out.

The 35-year-old assures his EBU European Union title dream is still very much alive despite the misfortune he suffered last week.

Donovan was set to trade leather with Mario Alfano [15(4)-2(0)-1] for the EU super featherweight title in Brescia, Italy this coming Saturday.

However, the Continental clash has been postponed as the St Michaels Athy graduate injured his rib sparring.

On the surface, it appears a massive blow for the Mark Dunlop-managed and Paschal Collins-trained fighter but the Kildare favourite remains positive.

Donovan assures he hasn’t lost his shot at the title rather the fight has just been postponed to a later date – as a result he remains adamant the dream is anything but dead.

“The dream is not dead,” he told Off The Ball.

“It’s not lost, it’s just pushed down the road a little bit. Once I can get back to full health and full fitness then we can reschedule the fight and I can look forward.”

The fact Donovan was mandated to face a champion who has been stripped after failing a drug test suggests he still remains in mandatory pole. Alfano was drafted in as a replacement having lost to that stripped champion, so he too is in a strong position. The question marks now revolve around whether or not Team Alfano have promotional control over the fight. It remains to be seen if the purse bids lodged and won by the Italians still stand or will a new negotiation process begin.

Regardless ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ is gutted he won’t have the chance to get the job done this weekend.

“I genuinely believe that next week was going to be the time I would be crowned European champion.

“Unfortunately that’s now not going to be the case for me. I picked up a bad rib injury and it’s put me in a position where I’m unable to compete,” he adds before hinting Alfano is not the type of opponent you take on with a rib injury.

“That scheduled 12-round fight could potentially have been a very physical battle.  That’s the nature of professional sport, we put our bodies through the mill on a daily basis to try and achieve our dreams.”

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