By David Boyle: Eric Donovan is an Irish amateur boxing standout, having won a European bronze medal in the lightweight division. Having moved to the professional ranks Donovan is unbeaten in five fights with three stoppages. His next fight is scheduled for the 02 December at the National Stadium in Dublin against Juan Luis Gonzalez.
Below is a Question and Answer interview with Eric Donavan
Q: How did you find fighting such a veteran in Dai Davies and the eight round distance?
A: I called for this fight because I knew Davies had a lot of professional experience, therefore I wanted to test myself against him. It was comfortable despite the cut in the third round which my coach Gerry Story managed brilliantly. My conditioning was spot on and the eight rounds were not a problem.
Q: Moving from the amateur side of the sport in 2016 to the professional, how did you find the transition and what was the hardest part of it?
A: I’m really enjoying the transition, it’s like a career change that many people need in their lives to reinvent themselves or else they can stop growing and developing, particularly if the fun and enjoyment is gone out of what you are doing. The hardest part is having to sell tickets and keep raising my profile in a country of heavily backed and promoted sports stars.
Q: Is there a long term plan in place and who or what are you targeting over the next two years?
A: Yes, there is a plan and that is to become European Champion. I hope I can reach this goal by end of 2018. After that, I can push towards world honours.
Q: Irelands’ best Olympic Sport is boxing and we see that the whole country supports the boxers when the Olympics come around. What do you think we can do more to support our Professional boxers as I personally feel there isn’t enough help for budding talent?
A: I think all sports people need a platform, so without the platform and tv exposure it can be very difficult, but not impossible. Look already I’m doing things the hard way, I’m grafting in the gym, I’m self-promotting, selling tickets, doing interviews, running my own business and I’m a father of two boys. My girlfriend Laura is a great help when it comes to tickets and fight preparation. Look that’s life, many people are in the same boat. I do wish it was a bit easier sometimes but it will be more satisfying when I achieve my goal.
Q: Being an RTE pundit do you hope to feature on future shows live on our national broadcaster and are there any plans in place for such events?
A: I love being a boxing pundit, I’m very passionate about boxing. I do really hope I can bring back RTE professional boxing, I believe I’m the man to do it. I’ve got all the credentials. A European title shot for me next year would be a great reintroduction for RTE Pro Boxing to come back on our screens.
Q: Can you tell me how camp in Ireland are going as there are not many Irish fighters based at home these days?
A: There is a huge increase in the number of Irish pro fighters these days, so I’m lucky I have many domestic fighters I can spar with above and below me in weight categories.
Q: How do you come about top quality sparring for your camps being based at home?
A: My coach would organise sparring for me, the boxing community is quite small and arranging sparring isn’t so bad. I’m well aware that I need to step up sparring a few levels and in 2018 I hope to get up to the North of Ireland for quality sparring with experienced pros. I’m encouraging the fans to continue to support me and the fanbase builds each time of fight because it’s that type of demand that will bring boxing back on our screens.