‘Clear-headed’ Donegan feeling no pressure ahead of must win fight

Dominc Donegan [5(1)-2(0)] says he feels no pressure going into what is bizarrely the biggest fight of his life on Sunday.

At first glance, his four round clash with journeyman Dale Arrowsmith [3(1)-52(5)-1]on a non TV Kevin Maree card, appears a tick over, out before Christmas job.

However, upon further investigation and taking into account the year the popular Cavan fighter has endured it’s an extremely important bout with a lot at stake.

A third successive defeat would prove fatal for ‘The Bomb’ and would most likely ruin big Owen O’Neill February plans.

In that regard it’s a must-win fight – although to talk to the Boxing Ireland fighter you wouldn’t think so.

“I don’t feel pressure,” he assures Irish-boxing.com.

“Obviously I’m going in to win, Dale Arrowsmith is a good operator but I’ve been training my arse off. I’ve been sparring Liam Walsh and Danny Keating and I had two exhibitions so I’m more than ready for this fight.

“There is no pressure. It’s like any other fight. I am going to get the win and set up a big 2022.”

The Tony Davitt trained fighter goes into the fight on the back of defeats to Milos Janjanin and Damian Esquisabel, opponents he was expected to defeat.

Without going into too much detail Donegan revealed personal problems played a part in both reverses and confirmed he was in good mental and physical shape ahead of Sunday’s bout.

“Look it was personal,” he responds when asked if there was any one specific thing behind the defeats.

“Everyone knows I’m out of the Irish Defence Forces and I started my own business, I had a lot of pressure in my own life and a lot of personal things going on. This time I go to fight clear-headed, my head is right and my body is right,” he adds before revealing the gym was his haven during tough times.

“I stay in the gym, that’s how I rectified things. I never went out of the gym, the gym is the best place for the head.”

The Boxing Ireland light middle also revealed the defeats haven’t had a negative effect on his confidence, pointing out recent exhibitions with Jake Hanney and potential future for Owen O’Neill have helped in that regard.

“My confidence levels are good. I think those two exhibitions have done me the world of good. I was in against two good lads in Jake Haney and Owen O’Neill. I think it was better than fighting a journeyman. I got four good rounds against each and it’s basically two fights I have that are not on my card.”

Those two exhibitions have served their purpose but there is nothing like the real thing – and Donegan is looking forward to putting some real distance between himself and his defeats on Sunday.

“It’s absolutely great to have a date before Christmas so, I get into the New Year on the right foot. I didn’t have a great year with Luxemburg and the fight in Belfast so, it’s great to have a date and the chance to put the two fights behind me. I’ll be going into the new year positive and ready for some big fights that are lined up.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com