Eric Donovan has put his amateur career behind him and is already looking forward to his pro career and matching the world honours earned by friend and former teammate Andy Lee.
But there is one thing 30-year-old Donovan is missing as he prepares for his big debut and that is – a good nickname!
Donovan and his team have had several suggestions put forward but nothing was quite right, so he is now turning to the public to help out by coming up with the ring moniker for the former European medalist.
Whoever comes up with the best name will win two tickets to see the Athy boxer make his professional debut at the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, June 28, on a packed bill promoted by legendary Ricky Hatton and featuring a host of up and coming Irish prospects.
The winner will also be invited to met Eric in the dressing room before the fight and be presented with a Team Donovan t-shirt with the new nickname emblazoned across it.
Some of Donovan’s former Irish teammates have already chipped in with their suggestions.
Olympic silver medallist, Kenneth Egan, offered up `Footlong’ as a potential moniker. “Eric has a massive appetite and would eat you out of house and home, every time he goes to Subway he has to order the ‘Footlong’ sandwich so I’ll go with that,” laughed Egan.
Belfast’s current World and European amateur champion, Michael Conlan, also couldn’t keep a straight face when throwing his suggestion into the ring.
“It has to be ‘Highlights’, Eric ‘Highlights’ Donovan, he loves the blonde tips to his hair. But serious, ‘Dynamite Donovan’ wouldn’t be a bad one. He has wicked power in those hands when he lets them go with 8oz gloves on and I can’t see anyone standing up to it,” added Conlan, who is preparing for the Rio Olympics.
Former WBO middleweight champion and Irish amateur star, Andy Lee, believes Donovan can go all the way to winning world honours.
“It has to be ‘Ding-Dong Donovan’ for sure,” suggested Lee, “Eric is going to be in some serious battles and he is going to show them all how much he can whack.”
“It’s a great move for Eric to turn pro, he has an outstanding record in the amateur ranks and can really make waves as a pro. His seasoning and years of experience at the top level will stand him in good stead, so I think he will surprise a lot of people.”
“Eric can definitely win a European title and has all the talent, skill and experience to go all the way and fight for world honours,” said Lee.
Donovan himself fancies a more locally relevant nickname, saying: “I’m proud to be from Athy and Kildare, and I intend to do the both club and county proud as a professional, but if someone could come up with something original, that would be great.”
Email your suggestions to NicknameForEric@gmail.com with your name, address and daytime phone number or send a Tweet to Eric at @Eric_Donovan90 using the hashtag #NicknameForEric by Monday, June 13. If two entrants pick the same name, the winner will be drawn from a hat.
Tickets for Eric’s debut at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday, June 25 range from €35 seated and €50 ringside, and are available in Athy from The Healthy Living Centre, 2 Duke Street, Athy, Co. Kildare. Alternatively, call Laura on 0867949406.