The Ballymena welterweight put in a great performance against the Moroccan but was edged out on a split decision by the World number one.
Still sporting a shiner from his Last 16 clash with Mongolia’s Tüvshinbat Byamba, Donnelly shipped a big shot with in seconds, but seemed to control the opening round. However, the judges all sided with the more eye-catching single shots from Rabii.
Rabii, unimpressive in his opening bout, kicked into gear in the second, and seemed to land the greater number of shots to take a close round on two cards.
Needing a miracle in the final round, the All Saints fighter was given a safety-based standing count after a clash of the heads, before being caught and tripped near the final bell for a knockdown – which was seemingly disregarded by the three judges. A glimmer of hope presented itself following a point deduction for Rabii for the aforementioned headbutt and Donnelly kept going and to the final bell, taking the round on one card – but it wouldn’t be enough.
The final scorecards read 27-29 x2, 29-27, handing Rabii the win and a guaranteed bronze medal.
It’s been a long and winding road for Donnelly and while he will be disappointed not to medal, he bows out with his head held high.