Monday 19 February 2018

'I was totally dominant' - Eric Donovan improves his pro record to 6-0 as he takes another step towards European title bout

Eric Donovan, right, in action against Juan Luis Gonzalez during their bout at the National Stadium in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Eric Donovan, right, in action against Juan Luis Gonzalez during their bout at the National Stadium in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

ERIC Donovan took another step towards achieving his dream of securing a European featherweight title shot when he made it six wins on the spin in the National Stadium on Saturday night.

The 32 year old Athy southpaw outclassed Spanish journeyman Juan Luis Gonzalez winning all eight rounds for a decisive (80-72) points win. He is now two fights away from achieving a European Union ranking which will put him in the frame for a title eliminator.

With new coach, former World middleweight champion Andy Lee in his corner and recently crowned unified World bantamweight title holder Ryan Burnett watching on, Donovan dominated the Spaniard who had failed to make the weight on Friday.

But despite his best efforts Donovan couldn’t knock him down. “I opened up on him in the last rounds but he just would not go down. I could hear him wincing when I sunk a few body shots but I just could not put him away.

“I told Andy (Lee) I wasn’t happy that I didn’t finish him and Andy’s reply was that he was delighted I felt that way because it showed I wanted to make a statement,” said the former European amateur bronze medallist.

In 2016, Gonzalez was knocked out in the ninth round by the current European champion Marc Vidal but Donovan believes his performance compared favourably with Vidal’s win over his fellow countryman.

“While Vidal did knock him out in the ninth over the previous eight rounds I believe I was classier. I was totally dominant I gave him absolutely nothing. 

“The only time he had a little bit of success was when I was trying to take me out. He was swinging for the hedges and hit me a few glancing blows but nothing major, “ said Donovan who will probably fight again in February and he is also hoping to secure a spot on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s mooted home-coming fight in Dublin later in the spring.

Meanwhile, Barry McGuigan’s female boxing protégé Chantelle Cameron from Northampton has emerged as a likely future opponent for Taylor after securing the vacant IBO World lightweight title in only her fifth professional fight on Saturday night in Leicester.

Twenty six year old Cameron failed to qualify for two Olympics Games during her amateur career but has made spectacular progress since linking up with the McGuigan stable this year – she only made her professional debut in May.

While the IBO world title is the least prestigious of the women’s world crowns, the fact that Cameron beat the highly rated Switzerland-based Brazilian Viviane Obenauf to secure the IBO belt boosts her credibility.

Obenauf  - who effectively conceded the fight to Cameron when she stayed seated at the start of the seventh round – took Katie Taylor the distance when they clashed in the Bray fighter’s second professional bout over six round in the Manchester Arena last December.

“I think the Katie Taylor fight could happen. It's a massive possibility. I'm in no rush, she's got the title and if I want to unify the titles I will have to fight her at some point,” Cameron told ESPN.

After the disappointment of having his maiden professional fight cancelled at the eleventh hour Ireland’s youngest professional boxer Aaron McKenna is now likely to make his debut next weekend in Las Vegas.

The 18 year old Monaghan welterweight was to have faced Mexican Victor Eddy Gaytan on the undercard of the World light middleweight title fight between Miguel Cotto and Sadam Ali, but the fight was cancelled due to issues surrounding Gaytan’s medical certificate.

But McKenna, who has been signed by Oscar de La Hoya Golden Boy Promotion organisaton, is now likely to make his pro debut in Las Vegas next weekend having missed out on the Madison Square Garden show in which the retiring Migel Cotto suffered a shock loss.

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