Top US Promoter eyes Irish Olympic star Steven Donnelly

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Ballymena’s Steven Donnelly has been the subject of an approach from a major US promoter.

A source close to Donnelly said that the American giant was impressed by the welterweight’s performances at the Rio Olympics, where he was the only Irish boxer to win two fights.

Donnelly, a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, defeated Algerian Zohir Kedache and Mongolian Tüvshinbat Byamba before losing narrowly in the quarter finals to Morocco’s World champion Mohammed Rabii.

It is believed that Donnelly will fly out to the US this Autumn before deciding on whether to put pen to paper.

The approach shows further evidence of the recent trend of major US promoters taking interest in top-level European amateurs.

Donnelly, who turns 28 next month, has already been on the radar of Cyclone Promotions and MGM in recent years, and may now feel that it is the right time to make an assault on the pro game.

While he would be relatively old turning over, his WSB experience would mean that Donnelly could be be fast-tracked initially. This has been the case in America for many top Europeans in recent years. The Antrim man would most likely campaign at light middleweight in the unvested game.

If the All Saints star does indeed sign with a big promoter, American or otherwise, it would cap a remarkable past twelve months for a man who was essentially retired at the stage last year.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]