After a glittering amateur career, Eric Donovan could be forgiven for hanging his mitts up and settling for a life of reminiscing on former glories. But, Donovan, a former Irish international amateur star and European bronze medallist, isn’t most boxers and is set to make his debut in the pro ranks on June 25 at the National Stadium, Dublin.
For almost a decade, Donovan ranked amongst Europe’s top amateur boxers, chalking up five Irish Elite National titles from Bantamweight through to Lightweight, a Four Nations gold, European Union bronze medal and a bronze at the 2010 European championships in Moscow.
Discussing his decision to return to the ring Donovan, a father of two boys, said: “I realised I hadn’t achieved my full potential in boxing and still had a lot to offer.
“The thought of turning professional provided me with a lot of motivation and after discussions I have decided to challenge myself and make the jump into pro boxing.
“I was disappointed not to make it to the Olympics, but a season fighting in the World Series of Boxing for the Astana Arlans gave me a new lease of life in the ring.”
The Athy fighter, who holds wins in the amateur code over current professionals such as Tom Stalker, James Tennyson, Patrick Hyland, Declan Geraghty and over the 2009 ‘AIBA Boxer of the Year’ Dominico Valentino, is spurred on by the achievements of many of his previous opponents.
“There is so much boxing on TV these days and I get to watch a lot of guys that I have fought, and often beaten. Their victories have encouraged me to go for it.
“Professional boxing is a tough game but I’m prepared for the challenge. The level of support has been amazing and I have already had to go back to the promoters and ask for more tickets because I sold out the ones I was given.”
Donovan has been keeping himself busy out of the ring, having recently completed a Diploma in Counselling, he is the Sports Ambassador for ‘I’m A Friend’ and as well as running a successful boxercise and fitness business, he has established himself as a boxing analyst and commentator for Irish state broadcaster, RTE.
“I was the first Irish Elite amateur champion from St. Michael’s Boxing Club in Athy and I would love to bring home the first Irish professional title to the club as well.”
“But I wont stop there, I am a quick learner and very adaptable and I am aiming to have an Irish title within five fights. Then set my sights are on a European title and a world title fight.
• Tickets for Eric’s debut at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday, June 25 range from €35 seated and €50 ringside. Call Laura on 0867949406.
Follow Eric on twitter at @eric_donovan60