Undefeated Featherweight and newly crowned Celtic champion Eric ‘Lilywhite Lightning’ Donovan 5-0 (3 ko’s) is a man on a mission. The Athy man has three wins already this year and has big plans for 2018. He claimed his first pro title in September in a career best performance by outpointing tough Welshman Dai Davies for the Celtic strap. He defends his title against Spaniard Juancho ‘El Pitbull’ Gonzalez on Sat Dec 2nd on Boxing Ireland & Tony Davitt Promotions ‘Celtic Clash 4’ show in the national stadium, Dublin.
KO Boxing News caught up with Eric to see how preparations have gone for his title defence and see what his plans are for 2018 –
KO – Your back out on Dec 2nd, how has training been going?
ED – It’s in full swing now. In fairness im always active and busy so I put my body through a lot. I’ve one more hard week of sparring ahead, I think il have two 8 round spars and il be working with some good amateur’s for speed. But then it’s about fine tuning things, like explosive power and speed.
KO – Your working with Andy Lee now, how has that been going?
ED – Yeah Andy has come in as my full-time coach for this one. After this fight I dont know because he’s not retired so we’ll see how it goes. He’s giving me 100% and he’s really educating to listen to with his experience and knowledge of the sport. I want to take it to the next level now and I need to be around people like that who have been there and done it at world level
KO – Looking at your last fight, what did it mean to you to win your first pro title in only your fifth fight?
ED – It was really special winning that first title and it was a great night. But ultimately it’s a stepping stone to where I want to get to. Im clear with my goals and im aiming to become the European champion, that’s where I want to get to and that’s what I visualise.
Obviously it’s hard graft, there’s no easy ride, no handout’s and there’s no TV backing so im doing it the hard way. But I really believe that I can be the man to bring those major title fights back to Ireland and hopefully back on TV. Id love to bring those nights back to the fans like back in the Bernard Dunne days.
KO – Ahead to your fight on Dec 2nd. What are you expecting from Juancho Gonzalez?
ED – Yeah he’s a decent, experienced fighter who went the distance with Jono Carroll so he’s got a good pedigree. He’s the first fighter Iv fought with a winning record, he’s also the first southpaw Iv faced so he’ll bring another challenge. But im 100% confident of getting the win and setting up a big 2018.
KO – Looking ahead, what are your plans then for 2018?
ED – Il have to have 8 fights to get an official European ranking and then im going for a European title shot in 2018. So im aiming for the title in and around the 10 fight mark. Whether it’s Marc Vidal the current champion or not we’ll wait and see, but il travel to Spain to box him if I have to if that’s what it takes.
Anyone looking for tickets for my fight on Celtic Clash 4 can buy them in the Healthy Living Shop, Athy or phone Laura on – 086 7949406
Id also just like to thank my sponsors – Liffey Crane Hire, Kendra Ireland & MFC (Metal Frame Construction)
* You can see the latest from Eric on Twitter – https://twitter.com/eric_donovan60