He was a star of the amateur game, winning five National Senior titles as well as European bronze, but Eric Donovan knows he has to earn his stripes and build his large support further before he adds pro belts to his collection.
The St Michael’s Athy BC graduate has Irish and European title aspirations but, at 31 years old, is keen to get moving fast and intends to bring the Kildare faithful with him.
Indeed, Donovan would love to fight for a strap as soon as possible, but knows he has make himself title eligible and earn the right to challenge for honours.
However, even when he does progress up the ladder and does the required amount of rounds to qualify for a title challenge, he fears he won’t have domestic challengers ready to fight him.
“I kind of feel like it would be hard right now to get an Irish fighter to fight me. I have to do a six then eight rounds before I can challenge for an Irish title, but my biggest fear is that other fighters won’t box me,” Donovan, who fights for the second time as a pro on the Inception show on November 5th, told Irish-boxing.
“I do know that I have to get notches on my belt and keep busy. Some might say I don’t deserve title shots yet and that I shouldn’t have the privilege of fighting for titles at this stage.”
“I don’t have a promoter behind me to throw the money at a big fight as yet, so I have to earn it. I know I have to earn it and work my way into title contention.”
“That’s why, for me, it’s important that the fans stick by me because if they keep coming out support me like they did for my debut it will ensure I am kept busy and can reach my goals.”
Since turning over Donovan has been fan power aware and the RTÉ pundit always promotes the idea that this isn’t just his journey, rather it’s an adventure for all those who support him too.
Indeed, the former High Performance Unit star claims he turned down offers to fight in Belfast as Dublin, and a fight at the National Stadium, was more accessible to those who want to watch him fight.
“Initially Frank Stacey has planned a show for September 17th, but that show didn’t go ahead so I had options to fight in Belfast in October, but Dublin is ideal for me and the fans location-wise. So when Red Corner Promotions came along it worked well for me.
“It’s good to know that I have options, but I know I need to build a fan base. Of the 200 that came to my pro debut, 80 percent had never been to a pro boxing event before and they loved it and those and more are coming this time.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)