Flu prevents Eric Donovan from fighting on the Conor Benn undercard this Saturday

A good old fashioned case of the flu prevented Eric Donovan [12(7)-1(1)] from appearing on this weekend’s televised Matchroom show.

The Kildare fighter was handed a slot and fight on the Conor Benn undercard, but had to pull out through illness.

Donovan, who is now trained by Paschal Collins, was found to be Covid-19 negative after having a test, but was down with the flu and couldn’t take the fight.

“I was supposed to fight on the Conor Benn undercard but I picked up a flu last week and I’ve been out of action since,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.

“It was a bad flu – Man Flu – the worst kind known to man,” he continued jokingly.

“Anyway I got the Covid-19 test and I was all clear, just a man flu.”

It’s disappointing for the massively keen to progress Irish featherweight champion, but the fact he was offered a fight is encouraging.

Having impressed in Fight Camp and then in the ring against super featherweight Zelfa Barrett, Eddie Hearn promised the St Michael’s Athy graduate another chance to shine on Sky.

The Matchroom boss felt Donovan, despite defeat, had shown enough to deserve an opportunity at his natural weight – and stayed true to his promise, offering him a slot on Saturday’s card.

Donovan couldn’t oblige, but is confident he will be given a Matchroom date again in 2021.

“Thanks to Eddie, he was going to accommodate me, he’s an honourable man and I know he’s going to have me back in 2021. Mark [Dunlop, manager] is plotting my next move nicely and I’m very grateful to be in good hands.”

Interestingly Hopey Price is the only fighter confirmed on the card that hasn’t an opponent.

Considering Price is a featherweight it could be assumed he was set to be Donovan’s foe. The Leeds southpaw has yet to lose, but has only three fights to his name.

It’s not quite the name the former amateur standout was originally linked to, but the kind of opponent, that suggests Hearn, was keen to get him a credible win before a big fight with some of his bigger names at the weight.

That said, a fight with Donovan would have been a perhaps irresponsible step-up for the former top underage amateur.

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