All eyes are on Paddy Barnes (3-0-3) and Michael Conlan (2-1-3) as they battle to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics via the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
But 2014 Irish Elite welter champion Steven Donnelly (2-0-2) blasted his way right into the mix for the 31st Olympiad after improving to two wins from two for the Hussars of Poland in the early hours of this morning in Florida.
The All Saints BC (Ballymena) orthodox scored a unanimous decision (49-46,50-45,48-47) over Brian Cabella of the USA Knockouts at the Miccosukee Sports & Entertainment Dome in Miami.
Cabella’s left jab/hook asked the occasional question of Donnelly, particularly in the 4th which he won on a split, but overall Donnelly, who looked like he had more in the tank if needed, was on top. He found the target with the cleaner and heavier shots, commanded the ring better and reguraly had his opponent guessing, notably in the fifth when he briefly switched to southpaw.
Irish coach Eddie Bolger was working Donnelly’s corner in Miami. Job well done by the Ireland pair. The USA Knockouts won the match on the night – but not at the expense of the Irish.
Donnelly was the only visiting boxer to win in Miami.