Kildare’s former Irish international amateur boxing star Eric ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ Donovan follows up his successful pro debut victory in June at the National Stadium, Dublin, with a return to the south Dublin venue after securing a slot on Red Corner promotions bumper 'Inception' bill on Saturday, November 5.
The five-time Elite Irish champion, who won national titles from Bantamweight through to Lightweight, got his career in the professional ranks off to a flying start with a hard fought points victory over experienced slugger Damian Lawniczak.
The former Astana Arlans boxer attacked his Polish foe from the first bell as the pair the fought at close quarters, which thrilled the 300 travelling Donovan fans that made the journey to the capital in support of the Athy fighter.
"I loved the pro atomosphere in the stadium, its very different what I’ve experience before, much more hungry and aggressive. I could barely hear myself think with all the noise on the night. You would have thought I had 30,000 of them in the Stadium.
"The support drove me on in the last round, which was my best of the bout when I had become more comfortable and the nerves eased," admitted 31-year-old European bronze medallist who cut short his post-fight celebrations in order to participate in the ‘Hell And Back’ run the following morning.
Donovan, who is the Sports Ambassador for the 'I'm A Friend' initiative as well as running a successful boxercise and fitness business, topped his summer off by drawing rave reviews for his work as a boxing analyst and was hailed by many the highlight of RTE’s boxing coverage at the Rio Olympics.
"Now I have a new challenge and will be stepping up to the quality of opponent which is another hurdle on route to getting a shot at that Irish title. I need to get my body used to all these challenges and keep building up and up until I'm am ready for the title shot in 2017".
"I've been in training for weeks already and I will be pushing hard for a knockout win this time. I am on track to achieve my goal and the work I've been putting in at the gym with my coach, Dominic O'Rourke is paying off.
"I can’t wait to just get back in there again. It was such a buzz after the first fight and I want to make sure that that isn’t the last time I get that feeling," added the St. Michael’s clubman.
The 'Inception' bill brings together much of Ireland’s rising talent under one roof including Dublin's unbeaten Steve Collins Jnr, former Prizefighter contestant Luke Keeler, Wexford’s unbeaten heavyweight Niall Kennedy, Feargal McCrory, Gerard ‘Crank’ Whitehouse, Ireland’s newest female pro boxer Lynn Harvey and the debut of high rated Ruari Dalton from Belfast.
Tickets for Eric’s debut at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday, June 25 range from €40 for a gallery seat and €60 ringside, and are available in Athy from The Healthy Living Centre, 2 Duke Street, Athy, Co. Kildare. Alternatively, call Laura on 0867949406.