Pundit or Opponent Eric Donovan’s Opinion of ‘Class Act’ Ramirez hasn’t changed

‘A class act’, that’s how Eric Donovan [14(8)-1(1)] described Robeisy Ramirez [8 (4)-1] when discussing him in his role as a pundit – and that’s still how he describes the Cuban now he is going to fight him.

The Kildare favourite was full of praise when commentating on the gifted amateur’s two Olympic successes for RTE and he remains full of admiration for a fighter he now has as an opponent.

The Irish featherweight champion takes on the Top Rank starlet on the undercard of the ESPN and Sky Sports broadcast Josh Taylor – Jack Catterall undisputed fight in Glasgow this weekend and is well aware of the challenge ahead.

“I have watched him a bit and worked comms and analysis for some of his fights. And I’ve always said the same thing, he’s a class act and my opinion hasn’t changed,” Donovan told Irish-boxing.com.

Donovan’s Ramirez study was done when the Cuban fight legend was wearing the vest. Some have questioned his pro credentials after watching his displays since he has turned over. Similar to Guillermo Rigondeaux, a talent Irish fights fans will be familiar with, Ramirez has been called ‘boring’ stateside – and the fact he lost his debut has opened the door for critics to open their mouth.

‘Lilywhite Lightning’ isn’t one of those doubters and doesn’t take the debut reverse into account, in fact, he is confident the 28-year-old will become a boxing star.

“He’s flying now and looks set for a big future in the sport. He had a blip at the start, but that’s nothing to be critical of, it was a 4 rounder, anything can happen in a 4 round fight.”

It’s not often you hear such high praise for an opponent, but just because the 36-year-old fancies Ramirez to have a good career doesn’t mean he doesn’t fancy his chances against the fighter, that knocked Michael Conlan out of the Olympic Games in 2012.

“I’m confident in my ability, my strength and confidence comes from my preparation and I’m preparing well for this fight,” he adds before explaining how the fight materialised.

“Well, it was put to me if I’d be interested in a fight with Ramirez, and considering my January plans to fight in Belfast were cancelled, I thought this was an amazing consolation. So I said, yes absolutely.

It’s more than just consolation it’s a career-changing chance for the St Michaels Athy graduate, who won European bronze in Russia in 2010.

“It’s very exciting, it’s an incredible opportunity for me to fight a Cuban boxing legend on top of his game. If you can’t get up for a fight like this, you’re in the wrong game. A win would be a game changer for me and would open the door to amazing possibilities.”

Donovan impressed in his last step up, fighting Zelfa Barrett on a Fight Camp card in 2020. The Kildare favourite caused the Matchroom fighter all manner of problems before one big shot took victory out of his grasp.

This fight comes against a more skilled technician and at a more suitable weight for the Pascal Collins trained fighter but in terms of opportunity, the fights are quite similar.

“It’s not far off when comparing the two, they’re quite similar in terms of platforms and stakes. So I’m really looking forward to a great fight,” he continues before thanking the people that make it possible for him.

“I cannot thank my sponsorship team enough for all their support, BearingPoint, Novo Technologies, The Auld Shebeen Athy, Liffey Crane Hire, A and A Pharmacy Athy, Smart Text, DPRC Physiotherapy Drogheda and SKF Fitness Drogheda.”

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