The Ballymena light middleweight will make his paid bow on the Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson undercard at Windsor Park in Belfast.
Ireland’s best performing fighter at the Rio Olympics and a double Commonwealth bronze medallist, Donnelly has experience of fighting on big stages so isn’t feeling too much pressure ahead of the debut.
Indeed, having been pushing for a pro move the past two years, ‘The Donn’ is just excited to get going at long last.
“I’m alright with the nerves,” he noted. “I’m sure there’ll be a few on the day because people are expecting things but I’m used to the pressure having fought at the Olympics.”
“It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere regardless of what time I’m on. I’m just going to take it all in and enjoy it. For the past few years I’ve been wanting to do this and now I’m here in the limelight.”
“This [card] is huge for Irish boxing. The noise will be amazing and the whole buzz will kick in as soon as the fight week begins. The whole of Ireland will be talking about it.”
At 29 years of age and with extensive World Series of Boxing experience, Donnelly is keen to be fast-tracked. So much so, the Antrim switch-hitter even floated the possibility of fighting for the Irish title in his debut.
This won’t happen, of course, and the All Saints graduate has admitted that, even now, he is still learning.
Boxing in the pros under sibling pair Ray and Mark Ginley, Donnelly has been getting some top sparring in ahead of his debut.
He outlined how “working with Ray and Mark Ginley is great. It’s a great stable and I’ve been sparring Lewis Crocker, who is explosive. You have to be very wary of his power and keep your hands up so it’s been good for me.”
“Everyone in that stable is coming out of nowhere and it’s a great place to be. We all get on – there’s no negativity. We train hard and get on. Ray and Mark have studied the game and we’re all learning.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)