‘Not a gimme fight’ – Tony Bellew warns Eddie Hearn about Eric Donovan’s talent

Zelfa Barrett [23(14)-1(0)] hasn’t been handed an easy Matchroom debut warns one of the stable’s favourite sons.

Tony Bellew suggests Eddie Hearn and co may have made a mistake putting in a fighter they have ‘Manchester star’ plans for in against Eric Donovan [12(7)-0].

The Commonwealth super featherweight title holder and the Irish featherweight champion will meet in a Fight Camp ring – and no doubt Matchroom are hoping the latest addition to their stable will shine.

In fact there have been suggestions Matchroom are confident the Manchester man will emerge from a competitive August 14 bout with a win and his reputation securely intact.

Tony Bellew, however, isn’t quite as sure.

‘The Bomber’ is fully aware of Athy BC graduate, Donovan’s capabilities, having watched him closely as an International amateur.

The Liverpool native admits he likes what he see’s in ‘Brown Flash’ and throws in the pro game is much different than the amateurs caveat, yet still he is confident the European bronze medal winner can ruin Hearn’s garden party.

“I have seen Eric Donovan box as an amateur over the years, he’s very, very good, represented Ireland at the highest level and he is undefeated.” Bellew told Hearn.

“[The pros] are a different sport, but it doesn’t take away from what he was good at in the amateur world,” he adds before admitting he does have time for 26-year-old Barrett.

“Zelfa Barrett is a kid that has been going on the backburner for quite a long time, underground shows, plodding along quietly. I have heard so many good things about him. I have seen him a few times and I have been impressed every time I have seen him. I look forward to seeing what he can do,” he continues before a word of caution for Hearn.

“Make no mistake this is not a gimme fight. Eric Donovan will come to scrap, the Irish are proud and they fight ’till they are finished.”

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