Donnelly frustrated at visa mix-up

Ballymena boxer Steven Donnelly.
Ballymena boxer Steven Donnelly.

Steven Donnelly has spoken of his frustration at the visa mix-up which he hopes won’t ruin his Olympic dream.

The Ballymena boxer had been due to make his second appearance in the World Series of Boxing last week, but an error in his paperwork meant he wasn’t able to enter Azerbaijan, where he had been due to box for his Polish Hussars team.

It meant that after his impressive win over Madiyer Ashkeyev in his opening bout, he was unable to improve his ranking in the WSB series, where the highest ranked boxers go on to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games.

“It was really frustrating because it’s something which should have been sorted before we went out there.

“It’s a big deal with Olympic qualification at stake but I just have to put it behind me and get on with the next one,” added Steven.

Back at Donnelly’s home club of All Saints, coach Gerry Hamill said: “We’re taking a positive out of a negative and it will give his reoccurring hand injury more time to heal.

“Only last week I took Steven on the pads, and I could see the distress on his face every time he used the injured fist, hopefully a little extra time and treatment will work in Stevens favour.

Meanwhile, the All Saints gym keeps turning out champions, with another hat trick of juvenile titles courtesy of Kyle McDonagh, Emeka Onwuka and Oisain Dotherty.