Donnelly’s Olympic dream on the ropes - for now

Ballymena boxer Steven Donnelly can no longer qualify for next year's Olympic Games via World Series Boxing.
Ballymena boxer Steven Donnelly can no longer qualify for next year's Olympic Games via World Series Boxing.

Steven Donnelly will have to find another way of qualifying if he is to achieve his dream of competing in next year’s Olympic Games.

The Ballymena boxer can no longer qualify via the World Series of Boxing - despite an unbeaten record in the ring in the competition.

‘I’ve been constantly playing catch-up with one less fight than my competitors’

Steven Donnelly

The Dunfane man completed his fifth victory in five contests for the Hussars Poland team in Italy at the weekend as he beat Italia Thunder’s Dario Morello on a split decision.

However, despite Steven’s exploits in the ring he can no longer claim one of the two welterweight qualifying slots on offer.

The visa administration mix-up, which prevented Donnelly from being able to box in Azerbaijan in March, has proved particularly costly as that ‘defeat’ now means that he cannot catch Russia’s Razhab Butaev and Morocco’s Mohammed Rabii at the top of the rankings, even if he claims all five points from his final WSB match against Venezuela later this month.

“I’ve been constantly playing catch-up with one less fight than my competitors,” said Steven.

“I’ve been winning every week and I’m not budging in the rankings but winning five out of five is great on its own.

“I’ve been sluggish in the last couple of fights and not performing the way I can because of the busy schedule but I’ve still been getting the wins.

“But I’m well-known around the circuit now and hopefully this is only the start,” added Steven.