‘If Eric is good enough he will get there’ – Dunlop confident of providing Donovan with opportunities he craves

Mark Dunlop suggests he will line them up, leaving it up to Eric Donovan [12(7)-0] to knock them over.

The Belfast based promoter and manager is confident he can secure Donovan an EU title shot in due course and provide him with the opportunities that will allow him fulfill his potential .

The Irish featherweight champion has been open about his Continental desire and equally upfront when stating he would retire if didn’t he make serious progress toward a European title shot in 2020.

Donovan was frustrated as without big promotional backing and having conquered the domestic scene he felt liken he was threading water – and as a result he traded Boxing Ireland Promotions for MHD Promotions.

While the current pandemic means no boxer can really enhance their reputation or indeed further their career, progress has already been made behind the scenes suggests his new manager.

Dunlop, who looks after former European champion James Tennyson, recent European title challenger Paul Hyland and current mandatory for the EBU cruiserweight title Tommy McCarthy, revealed he persuaded the EBU to move the Kildare fighter up the rankings ladder.

Donovan now sits #7 in the EU ratings and is closing in on a EU tilt.

It has to be said that the respected boxing pundit and motivational speaker had been in the frame to face Spain-based Ecudorian Carlos Ramos for the strap whilst under Boxing Ireland’s guidance.

The Kenneth Egan trained fighter accepted an offer to fight in Santander for the title in Spain at short notice last year, but Ramos would instead choose Razaq Najib from the shortlist of opponents and promptly dominated the Englishman over twelve rounds to claim the belt.

Dunlop will be hoping to create a scenario where ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ can’t be overlooked again, he may pursue mandatory status or hope to use his Matchroom connections to tempt the champion with a Sky date.

Regardless the EU title is the short term goal and winning that belt would lead to the EBU title shot Donovan craves.

“I have a good relationship with the EBU and managed to get Eric pushed up to number 7 in the EU [rankings], so I aiming for the EU title for Eric,” Dunlop told Irish-boxing.com when speaking about his latest recruit.

When that shot will come for the eager to kick on 34-year-old remains to be seen. Boxing is at a complete standstill at present and it’s hard to make plans never mind predictions with regard to fight dates.

“The problem every stable and boxer has at the minute is with everything on lock down all the gyms are shut and sparring impossible and so on. Its possible to stay fit but it will take time to get ready [for a fight] when the green light is given to fight again,” Dunlop added.

Regardless of when boxing can resume, Dunlop is excited about the prospect of working with the five time National Elite Champion and is confident he can push the fresh veteran to the next level.

“I was delighted when Eric Donavon contacted me with the view to joining the team. Eric is a gentleman and very dedicated, these are the main qualities I look for in an athlete, the rest is easy! If Eric is good enough he will get there, he previous team done a great job and are happy to see him push on.”

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