Strong step-up opponent named for Eric Donovan

Eric Donovan [2(1)-0] will make a step up in his third professional fight next weekend.

The Kildare super feather is already stepping up to six rounds on the February 25th Red Corner Promotions show in Dublin, and it has been confirmed that he will also face the strongest opponent of his career thus far.

‘Lilywhite Lightning’ will box Nicaraguan Rafael Castillo [14(6)-30(13)-3] at the National Stadium on the ‘Unfinished Business’ card.

The game Central American will be familiar to Irish fans having had a competitive fight with upcoming Irish title challenger James Tennyson back in November, and sharing three rounds in a very close contest with Ronnie Clark earlier this month.


In terms of comparisons, ‘El Jaguar’ lasted three and four rounds respectively with top British prospects Reece Belotti and Zelfa Barrett, who undertook the challenge in their seventh and fourteenth fights

Castillo also featured in our 10 best ‘journeymen opponents’ we want to see against Irish boxers in 2017 list. The Barcelona-based boxer is an attacking opponent and has proven himself adept at throwing some nice clean combos.

Donovan’s manager, Leonard Gunning, told that “Castillo’s tough, he’s durable, and we hope he brings Eric rounds.”

“If we’re going to be going for titles in the Summer, Eric needs rounds. Castillo went four with Tennyson, who is challenging for the Irish title next month, and six with Clark, who had just gone life and death with British champion Martin J Ward.”

“For a novice pro, it’s a strong opponent and we hope that he brings the best out of Eric.”

“If Eric comes through unscathed, with some rounds in the bank, our plan is for him to headline in Kildare next in what would be the first pro show in the county for over a century.”

Also set to feature on the Luke Keeler v Lewis Taylor-headlined card are Lynn Harvey, Noely Murphy, Stevie Collins, Allan Phelan, Connor Coyle, Craig O’Brien, Jay Byrne, Chris Blaney, and debutant Thomas Finnegan.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

Tickets for ‘Unfinished Business’ cost €40 (unreserved) and €60 (ringside) and are available from the boxers involved on the bill.

Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: