Dominic Donegan reveals he was the loneliest participant of the loneliest sport ahead of his last fight – and as a result, is delighted to be part of a team again.
The Cavan fighter, who is becoming renowned within Irish boxing for overcoming tough obstacles and slaying stigmas surrounding defeats, had to show huge mental resilience and determination to put behind him a disappointing BBBofC Celtic title reverse.
‘Da Bomb’ indicates his coach for the Ben McGivern title fight in Scotland suggested he call it a day after his fifth career defeat. It lead to an amicable although confidence-denting split.
However, the 28-year-old former BUI and BBBofC Celtic title challenger didn’t take the coach’s advice on board and instead decided to solider on, doing so alone.
The Ian Gaughran managed fighter trained himself for a comeback fight in Spain.
“I actually had no coach after the Ben McGivern fight,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“I thought I gave a very good account of myself, losing by a 95-96 decision and I believe if I fought Ben 10 times I’d beat him nine. Unfortunately, that wasn’t my night. He beat me fair and square, no excuses. It was a close fight and I never got my hand raised. Unfortunately for me, I lost the fight by a very close decision and I also lost a coach who did not see where I go from there,” he adds before revealing after the initial upset his stubbornness kicked in.
“I took that pretty hard because I knew I underperformed. I knew if things had been a wee bit different and with a bit of luck I would have got the nod.
“So after my ex-coach turned his back on me I started training myself. I had in my head that I am good enough, that I have goals set, and that I can achieve them. No one is going to say where I go or what I should do.
“I got onto my manager to get me a fight and he did. I trained by myself for the fight, it was lonely but I had that wee bit of fire in my belly. I really want this and if I just push a wee bit harder I’ll get to where I want to be.”
Donegan has had the guidance of Iain Mahood throughout camp for his fight against Kristaps Zulgis in Wales this Saturday.
Anthony Cacace’s trainer stepped in and cornered the Cavan man in Spain last time out and the pair have since struck up a relationship.
“I was hoping he saw something in me and would want to take me on. After I got the win I had a good talk with him and now I am training up there full-time,” he explains.
“Iain gets me excited about boxing. I am really looking forward to my next six to 12 months and finally achieving my goals.
“I have never been happier and getting closer to the goals I have set. I do wish my previous coach and his stable all the best and his stable and I’d like to thank him for everything,” he adds before revealing he goes into this fight a different animal.
“We have only had six weeks together but the changes in me as a boxer and as a person are night and day. There is a massive difference in me we’ve been working on technical stuff and I’ve been letting my hands go with more confidence.”
Donegan is closing in on a third title fight with the rumour mill churning out a possible rematch with Graham McCormack. The IGB fighter didn’t go into detail when pressed but admitted a big fight may await, although experience teaches him he can’t overlook Saturday’s fight.
“There is talk about big fight in September but we will get over the line Saturday night first and see what plays out. This time when we go for a belt we are taken it home to Cavan.”