Turning pro just shy of his 31st birthday back in 2016, there were eyebrows raised regarding the lilywhite’s ability to adapt to the paid game following a long period away from the ring.
The talent of the five-time Irish Elite champion and European and EU bronze medallist was never in question but there were physical and tactical questions asked.
However, as he obliterated gritty Nicaraguan Moises Mojica to move to 10-0 on Saturday night at the York Hall, one would wonder why there was any worry.
The foot and handspeed remain but Donovan continues to add strings to his bow under his coaching team of Ken Egan and Joe Clifford.
The Athy southpaw broke down, dropped, and stopped Mojica inside three rounds and even managed to create an atmosphere in the York Hall.
A second successive big stoppage following his Irish title win over Stephen McAfee in March, Donovan is becoming increasingly destructive.
‘Lilywhite Lightning’ explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “even though my amateur fundamentals and qualities are my big strengths and I do need them and they’re a massive asset to me, you can’t completely rely on them.”
“I’ve had to work more on the pro side of the game, getting in close, sitting down on my shots, learning how to stay in the pocket and be calm in the chaos.”
“I’m enjoying it, I’m loving it, it’s a process.”
While Mojica is not a world beater, the away fight isn’t one content to pick up a paycheque and Donovan respected his foe.
The respect punching pundit noted how “I had a right good fight on my hands. He’s not the most stylish, but in terms of being professional, being raw and rugged, being able to dig and hit you from different angles, he could do that.”
“He came as well and you could tell that he didn’t want to lose that fight, you could see that hunger is in his eyes. He had a crafty, sly streak in him where he was trying to set traps for me. He had experience and was trying to walk me on to shots and he did have big power.”
“I knew if I gave him an inch, he’d take a mile, so I had to keep showing him what’s what. Every once and a while I’d go on my bike, use the jab, but then I’d step in again and try plant my feet because, when I plant my feet, I’ve serious power.”
As mentioned, Donovan and his fans really created a buzz in the famous old hall, even getting the English fans to join in in their chanting.
The Irishman was the story of the night, standing out vividly, and he acknowledges that this is important going forward.
“It was great, that’s what I always wanted to do,” he said.
“People say to me what did I hope to do – obviously win, but there’s a lot more obligation and expectation on professional boxers.”
“I’d to look good, entertain, and put lasting memories in peoples’ minds so they’d go ‘that Eric Donovan was good, I want to go see him the next time’.”
“As sad as it sounds, you have to sell yourself and make your stock go up and that’s what I tried to do.”
“Overall, it was a great experience, I got the win, got the knockout, I’m into double digits now, 10-0. Every test, I’m passing them in style.”