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Euro-Vision – Eric Donovan Pitches EU Title Fight to Irish TV

Eric Donovan [15(8)-2(2)] is ready to pitch his European title fight to terrestrial TV stations.

The European Boxing Union have ordered the Kildare fighter to trade leather with Khalil El Hadri [13(7)-1(0)] for the vacant EBU EU featherweight title – and the clash looks certain to play out late this summer.

The Kildare favourite believes the scrap would make for essential viewing and is worthy of a prime-time TV slot.

Boxing on the box is a rarity in Ireland but the respected TV pundit thinks his continental clash is worth air time.

“I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for a terrestrial TV station,” said the fighter with cross-over credentials.

“You’ve got the reigning Irish Champion vs the reigning French Champion in a scheduled 12-round fight for the Continental European Title! That’s definitely got to be worthy of a TV broadcast. But we’ll have to wait and see how things go after the purse bids on July 6th.”

Before any TV station can jump on board an Irish location would have to be secured for the fight. For that to happen Team Donovan would either have to persuade El Hadri to these shores or win the right to promote the fight via purse bids.

Irish-boxing.com understands Donvan’s manager Mark Dunlop will lodge a bid on July 6 and it appears he may have help from ‘Lilywhite Lightning”s’ ever generous sponsors.

“The purse bids will be July 6th, I would love to fight him in Ireland and my sponsorship team would like that too, so we’ll see how it pans out.”

Regardless of where the fight takes place or on what platform Donovan remains extremely excited to be within touching distance of such prestigious success.

“I am absolutely delighted to secure this fight,” he adds before allowing himself to dream of victory. “It would be a great feeling, and it would make all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.”

The European Championship medalist was confirmed mandatory for the EU strap, the like ofs Andy Murray and Paul Hyland won to set up EBU shots, after he defeated Engle Gomez in Belfast in May.

That victory was his first after defeat to two-time Olympic medal winner Robeisy Ramirez on a Sky Sports broadcast show. The 36-year-old admits that reverse prompted him to consider retirement – but reveals a European title dream kept him in the game.

“Well, I wasn’t happy after that loss. I was poor against Ramirez, I just didn’t turn up. And I did contemplate retiring, but I thought about all the reasons I came out of retirement in the first place and that’s why I’m still here, still chasing dreams.”

Discussing the task at hand Donovan said: “I didn’t know much about him beforehand. But, I’ve saw a bit of him since, he’s a good fighter, and he’s the French Champion so that’s an impressive feat as France is a strong boxing nation, in the Pro’s and Amateur.

“I have to say a huge thank you to my loyal sponsorship team. BearingPoint, Novo Technologies, Blackstone Motors, Auld Shebeen Athy, Liffey Crane Hire, A and A Pharmacy Athy, Smart Text, DPRC Physiotherapy and SKF Fitness.”

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