Eric Donovan just came out on top of a terrestrial tv broadcast war with a prestigious title wrapped around his waist, cue calls for more big nights, and the dropping of some big names.
The brilliant and dramatic win over French star Khalil El Hadri at the Europa Hotel has opened doors for the Kildare super featherweight.
The EU title acts as a stepping stone to the EBU European title and Donovan would be well within his rights to hunt down that strap. TG4 will surely want to air another ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ topped card and the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter could explore a well-earned routine defence and a possible homecoming.
However, Donovan’s coach Paschal Collins has suggested a left field next move and although it caught everyone off guard it’s one many feel makes sense.
The respected Dublin trainer believes Mark Dunlop managed fighter is ideal for the job of Boxing High-Performance Director.
The role previously held by Billy Walsh was recently vacated by Bernard Dunne, who took up the mantle in 2017.
The IABA are currently searching for a new man to fill the role and Collins believes Donovan is who they should appoint.
Speaking online he said:
The reaction suggests Collins, who also trains the likes of Spike O’Sullivan, Ray Moylette, Thomas Carty, Craig O’Brien and Daniel ‘San’ O’Sullivan, wasn’t alone in believing the St Michaels Athy BC graduate is a perfect fit.
Whether or not the EBU EU champion would be interested in the extremely important and very demanding job is unknown. It’s likely if he was to be appointed he would have to hang up his gloves and retire from competing.
Although he is basking in some pro spotlight at the minute, Donovan has a storied amateur career and is one of Ireland’s more respected boxing brains. He also has experience of the highs and lows of an amateur existence, and having navigated some pitfalls life can throw at young professional athletes, he is well versed on what not to do’s as well as the what to do’s when it comes to success. The 37-year-old also has a strong media presence and has the kind of image that the IABA would greatly benefit from.
Dunne officially left his post in May, and there have been no suggestions that the IABA are close to announcing a replacement. John Conlan has been a name mentioned as ideal for the role by others within the game and would be a very strong candidate.