So parochial is the Clash of Cavan that you only have to look at a Drumgoon versus Shercock GAA clash to understand what victory will boil down to states Dominic Donegan [5(1)-3(0)-1].
‘The Bomb’ claims skill and talent count for very little when the neighbouring towns meet on the field of play, pointing out hunger is the key ingredient to victory when it comes to the always keenly contested derbies.
Similarly, the recent BUI Celtic title challenger believes guts will prove more important than guile when the town’s two fighters collide in the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.
Donegan takes on Owen Duffy [5(2)-2(1)] on the undercard of Eric Donovan’s EU title bid live on TG4 this Saturday night and is adamant the fight will be decided by who desires the win more.
“Everyone in Cavan is excited for, well I say Cavan, but it’s everyone in our parish,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“I’m Drumgoon and he’s Shercock they are a stone’s throw away from each other. We are practically neighbours and I know when Drumgoon and Shercock play a game of football against each other it’s never the better team that wins it, it’s who is the hungrier on the day.
“I think this fight is going to come down to that too. It won’t matter who is the better boxer it’s about who wants it more. There is a lot at stake, there is a lot of pride at stake, people say bragging rights too but it’s pride.”
‘The Butcher Boy’ Duffy, who is trained by Donegan’s old amateur coach Frick McMahon, has played down the derby nature of the tie, favouring to look at as he would any fight.
However, Donegan takes a different approach to the fighter he lined out for Cavan beside at Under-14 and Under-16 county level and sees it as a War of the Buttons style local rivalry.
It’s not that the Cavan man has a desire to secure bragging rights rather he has a fear of being known around town as the man who lost to someone from Shercock.
“I don’t want to walk into my local shop and hear ‘Owen beat you’ or even into our local pub when people have a few drinks and they say ‘Owen beat you’. I am going to do everything I can to make sure people can’t say that to me.”
Making sure he prevents that from happening won’t be easy he admits. Donegan believes Duffy, 28 will just be as motivated as he is and argues it’s a 50-50 clash.
“I think he is as prepared for me as I am prepared for him. It’s 50-50, down the middle. It comes down to hunger. I know both of us will do everything we can to not taste defeat.”
Donegan comes into the fight on the back of a BUI Celtic title defeat suffered at the gloves of old rival Graham McCormack at the same venue. He argues the learnings he takes from that fight will stand him in good stead against his fellow county man.
“I’m ready. This is my time now. When I lost against Graham it was either give up or keep going and giving up is never really an option for me. I know how good I am and I know if I had of done this or that against Graham it would have been a completely different fight. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m really looking forward to showcasing that on Saturday night.”