Eric Donovan has backed himself to defeat the highly rated Zelfa Barrett when the pair face off on Friday evening.
The super-featherweight clash serves as chief support on the latest edition of Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp series, with Commonwealth champion Barrett representing the toughest test of Donovan’s unblemished professional career.
The Mancunian has long been pegged as a potential future star in his boxing-steeped city, but Donovan is confident the 27-year-old’s coronation will have to wait.
“I look at Zelfa Barrett and I’m not overawed”, says the Athy native.
“I don’t feel in any way inferior or 'not good enough'. I look at Zelfa at his very, very best, and I look at myself at my very best, and I trump him; I trump him in a lot of areas.
“I’ve left no stone unturned, ticked every box, and now if I can perform to the level I’m capable of, there should be no doubt around the outcome of this match. A win for Donovan. 100%.”
The event typifies a new normal for the fight fraternity, with this week’s Sky Sports card subject to heightened healthy and safety protocols mandated by the British Boxing Board post-lockdown.
Moreover, all participants involved in the five-bout telecast were tested for COVID-19 (and subsequently cleared) upon their arrival in the quarantined fight week ‘bubble’. It is there that they will be housed until opening bell on August 14th, with the action itself taking place outdoors at Matchroom Sport’s HQ in Brentwood, Essex.
Donovan, for his part, is not phased by the comparatively surreal build-up.
“The environment is really good, the organisation is spot on, the professionalism is top class. That has made things stress free and that’s good because sometimes when you’re preparing for fights there can be disorganisation. But all that stress is gone now. Matchroom are running a very professional ship.
“I’m already in the best shape of my life physically, so many rounds of sparring against all types of fighters.
“It’s all about getting the mindframe and headspace for fight night."