Donnellan explains decision to fight veteran Healy
By Jonny Stapleton
ALAN Donnellan admits enquiries as to why he elected to fight dangerous veteran Ciaran Healy at this stage in his career are common.
The Galway novice fights the former two weight Irish champion on the increasingly intriguing Emerald Promotions show in Belfast on July 21 and faces a dangerous test against a fighter with prospect defeating previous.
If ‘Donny’ wasn’t initially aware of the challenge that lays ahead he certainly is now, as he revealed his fight selection policy has been continually questioned and ‘by everyone’.
The four fight professional, however see’s Healy as a chance to progress up the ladder and fast track a career that was significantly stalled over the last two years.
“It’s definitely step up, I’ve been looking forward to this. Everyone has been asking why Healy- I’m sure there are easier opponents- but fights are so hard to secure we went with the one guy that we know will fight anyone, anytime. The fight provides the potential to jump the ladder, Ciaran is an acid test- if I win fights will be much easier to procure, if I were to lose at least I’ll be in the highlight reels,” Donnellan told Irish-boxing.com.
Donnellan is honest enough to admit he could get burnt in said ‘acid test’ with a fighter he has compared to the legend that is Arturo Gatti.
The Limerick based fighter’s hand has been slightly forced by the fact he has struggled to secure regular action over the last few years.
Indeed ‘Donny’ suffered three fight cancellations in 2011 and believes a win over Healy will help him secure a future in what can prove an unstable sport.
“Certainly the frustration of the last year or so played a part- in addition Belfast has become the last remaining stronghold of Irish professional boxing- I’ve trained there, been to fights there, enjoyed the city. Hopefully I can fight there, impress and they’ll have me back,” he added.
“Ciaran is actually a fighter I’ve enjoyed watching for a long time. I did make the comparison to Arturo Gatti; absolutely no fear, an iron will and the ability to end a fight with one punch. He’s a fighter’s fighter.”
Not your usual fighting talk, but the charm offensive doesn’t mean the 24 year old is resigned to defeat. Indeed, its quite the opposite he is confident he is capable of cultivating a more respectable record by adding Healy to it.
Donnellan knows he is not favourite despite having youth on his side, but is believes he can rise to the challenge.
“I was confident of victory. That belief is growing with every training session. I don’t anticipate I’ll be the favourite going in and I enjoy that. It’s not even rise of the underdog, it’s just the new generation of Irish fighters trying to secure the future of the sport here with exciting fights. I’d like to thank Emerald for giving me this opportunity, they could have as easily had anyone else and I appreciate the shot,” he added before reinstalling the charm offence.
“I’d also like to extend my best wishes to Ciaran Healy; both on this fight and the rest of his career. He’s been a tremendous servant to our sport and I feel we’ll put on a great fight.”