Eric Donovan will surely get more big fight opportunites after his highly-praised performance on the Eddie Hearn Matchroom card in Essex last night (Friday).
The Lilywhite Lighening southpaw lived up to his Friday morning Kildare Today interview during which he expressed confidence and no fears about the huge challenge he faced.
The Athy boxer suffered an eight-round TKO in his IBF intercontinental super-featherweight contest with Manchester's Zelfa Barrett.
Donovan showing class and speed was ahead after five rounds and frequently outboxed his stronger and more experienced opponent..
However, realising that defeat was facing him, this spurred Barrett into a more intense response, culminating in Donovan being knocked down twice in the seventh.
He made the count, but the fight was stopped in the 8th after a huge left hook from his more experience opponent ended Lilywhite Lightening's brave effort..
However, Irish Featherweight champion, Donovan has earned all the plaudits for his performance against an opponent 8 years younger than him, vastly more experienced and the at the bigger Super Featherweight division.
The Athy man came into the fight 12-0 against an opponent who was 23-24 ahead of last night and who has fought for European titles.
Donovan showed bravery, speed and undoubted class before being caught in Round 7 and then the fight-ending left punch which left him on his back in Round 8 and despite getting up, being stopped on the TKO.
Undoubtedly the preformance will earn the 35 years old Athy, former European Amateur Bronze medallist, more opportunities at his natural featherweight 9 stone level (last night he was fighting at 9st 4lbs superfeatherweight, which he agreed to take on in order to get the opportunity to showcase his skill and courage.