The Drumgoon ligth middleweight made his professional debut at the weekend where he was one of the stand-out performers on the ‘Celtic Clash 8’ bill in Belfast.
While he admits that a fight with Shercock’s Duffy [4(2)-1(0)] is one for next year, at least, ‘Don The Bomb’ certainly sent out a statement of intent on Saturday night.
Donegan became one of the few to drop the ultra-experienced Liam Griffiths at the Devenish Complex in a performance that had many at ringside sitting up and taking notice.
The Irish Army man underlined his power in the four-round 40-35 points win and he explained to Irish-Boxing.com afterwards how “I know I have a bang and I landed in the third round and I did hurt him but I went back to my boxing, went through the four rounds and it was great to get them.”
“Liam Griffiths has been around with the best of lads, you’ve seen the likes of Paddy Gallagher sharing the ring with him. He doesn’t get knocked down but I caught him sweet and I was picking him. Jonathan [Lewins, coach] said ‘Dom, pretend you’re going to the body then come up with the overhand right’. I did exactly what he said, then he told me to be patient so I went back to my boxing. Our plan was very good and we stuck to it.”
“I said from the start that I’m not going out there for a ‘dream’ debut, a first round knockout. I’m after selling a lot of tickets and I’m an entertainer at the end of the day, I want to put on a show for my fans.”
Entertaining is important to Donegan who seemed to revel in the atmosphere – although he admits that “I was very nervous, to be honest, I’m used to fighting in front of 30 or 40 people.”
“When I went out there and saw ‘Dom The Bomb’ t-shirts and everyone going mad with flags, it’s unbelievable. It is a dream debut – I didn’t get the knockout but I didn’t go for the knockout – it was my dream debut. That’s something tonight that no one will ever be able to take away from me.”
It was a delayed first outing for Donegan, with the Boxing Ireland man having been initially due to box on the ‘Clash of the Titans’ bill in Dublin back in March.
Having decided against it, he feels the choice paid dividends and, considering his destructive display, it’s hard to disagree.
Donegan noted how “me and Jonny are only after coming together. Now we’re together a while but you have to build a bond with your coach and your team. The last few weeks, since the 30th of March, me and Jonny have gotten closer, we’re working three or four times a week, building a friendship.”
“There was no point in me going in the ring not knowing much about Jonathan, him not knowing much about me. Here, he knew me, knew what would work, what wouldn’t. I think we were right to take [the debut] now, we’ve loads of time, I’m still young, and this is only the start.”
While he is on the beginning of a journey, Donegan naturally has a plan in his head and a homecoming to Cavan appeals – especially with a seemingly perfect derby that could be made.
When asked about Duffy, Donegan responded that “at the end of the day, the two of us are two Cavan athletes. There’s no bad blood but we’re both from Cavan and we’re both entertainers, it would make sense to happen – he has a good following, I have a good following, we’d fill somewhere in Cavan the two of us.”
“But there’s no point in having a four or six rounder, have it for the BUI Celtic title or maybe the Irish title down the line,” he reasoned before sending good wishes to his potential future opponent, returning the favour for a good luck message sent by Duffy.
“I want to wish Owen all the best, I’ve experienced it now, this isn’t an easy game. This is a lonely sport, you saw him going over to England and boxed a good lad. He’s put in the effort, he’s a hard worker, and I’ve no bad blood with him. If it does happen, it happens.”