‘Foolish not to’ -Eric Donovan discusses Pascal Collins link up

Eric Donovan [12(7)-1(1)] says it would have been ‘foolish’ not to have brought in a coach with the kind of experience Pascal Collins brings to the table, as he progresses toward some top table fights.

The Irish featherweight champion this week confirmed a link up with the Celtic Warrior Gym boss.

It comes off the back of a career changing week spent in the Matchroom bubble and a promise from Eddie Hearn of further big opportunities come 2021.

Donovan had most recently been working with former Irish amateur team mate Kenneth Egan and had spells with Andy Lee as well Gerry Storey.

The link up with Olympic medal winner Egan seemed to work well, but it wasn’t ideal in terms of the Clondalkin native not being a full time coach or a coach with sizable pro experience.

That’s were Collins comes in. Explaining the link up whilst speaking to Irish-boxing.com Donovan said: “It came about because I feel that where I am at now in my career and what’s coming down the line for me.

“I need to be fully prepared and ready. I would be foolish not to bring professional experience on board.”

The 35-year-old Mark Dunlop managed fighter believes the coach of Spike O’Sullivan, Craig O’Brien, Niall Kennedy and co has all the ingredients needed for the next phase of his career.

“He brings, experience, knowledge, direction and authority which I need right now.

“I’ve had a couple of sessions already and they were very educational and the chats as well make so much sense. So I’m feeling very positive about it.”

It’s been somewhat of a solo effort for the Kildare native to date. The decision to work with Collins also means Donovan will have gym mates and can work in a team environment.

It’s something the decorated former amateur has already noticed.

“Yes definitely,” he responded when asked if there are benefits to having other fighters around him.

“I get on well with all the lads at Celtic Warriors Gym. Like, just the other day I was warming up with Craig O’Brien on the ropes and watching Niall Kennedy sparring, so it feels good to be in that environment alright, it brings back the memories of the High Performance, that team element.”

Donovan also revealed Egan will still be involved, but Collins will be the main coach.

“I would like to still like to have Ken on board the team 100%. He backs the move as well, he said it’s a great idea to bring in Packie with 20+ years of professional coaching behind him.”

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