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Euro Dream – Eric Donovan mandated to fight EU title

Eric Donovan [13(7)-1(1)] EBU European title dream has been handed a real boost.

The European Boxing Union have made the Kildare stylist mandatory challenger for the EU super featherweight title.

Not to be confused with the European title, the EU strap is only competed for by fighters who hail from European Union countries.

However, the title is seen a massive stepping stone to the famous blue belt.

The news means champion Haithem Laamouz [17(7)-1(0)] has to defend against the St Michaels Athy graduate next or vacate.

EBU General Secretary Enzo Jacaponi has ordered the teams to come to an agreement and if a deal can not be reached the fight will go to purse bids, although no deadline has been officially set.

Malta’s finest, Laamouz claimed the title by defeating Mario Alfano of Italy in December.

The 31-year-old hasn’t a record that will scare a naturally talented fighter of Donovan’s experience. He has Irish previous having debuted against Gearoid Clancy in Australia and won the New South Wales title as high as light welterweight as well as picking up regional straps Down Under.

If manager Mark Dunlop can manage to win the purse bids the fight could play out in Ireland or even on a Matchroom card, considering Eddie Hearn’s interest in the 35-year-old.

Cork manager Gary Hyde looks after the EBU title holder Samir Ziani. If Ziani beats John Carter in his mandated defence that could be an easy fight to make.

Interestingly enough Donovan was vocal about returning to featherweight, a weight he felt he would perform better at. It may be he will move down if he wins the EU crown and he may have a strong chance of challenging the champ at feather which will be either Andoni Gago or Gavin McDonnell come spring of next year.

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