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Spain bound Donegan ready to impress Sergio Martinez and the like this weekend

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In what is becoming one of the best Irish debut years in recent memory, Dominic Donegan [3-0, 1KO] is packing his bags for fight number four of 2019.

The Cavan light middleweight, it has been confirmed, will fight on a major card in Spain.

Donegan will box on a Maravilla Box card on Saturday December 7th at the Polideportivo Vicente Trueba in Torrelavega. Maravilla are a major player in boxing, fronted by Argentine former world champion Sergio Martinez and the bill in Northern Spain is a just reward for the hard-working Donegan.

The Boxing Ireland Promotions fighter had a debut to remember in May, dominating the tough Liam Griffiths, before seeing a bout in London fall through the following month.

The Drumgoon man did not let this get him down and was back out in July when he knocked out Adrian Aleksiev and then eased past Kristaps Zulgis in Belfast last month.

Three fights would have been an above average return for a new pro but Donegan has always stood out and now has a gateway to major contests in 2020.

On December 7th he will rub shoulders with the likes of European champion at his weight, Sergio Garcia, and a name familiar to all Irish boxing fans – Kiko Martinez So how did it happen?

The hungry prospect explains how “straight after my last fight, about two days after, I texted my manager Stephen [Sharpe] and said I wanted out before Christmas and to make it a six rounder if he could.

He got me on a York Hall card on the 29th of November and then himself and Leonard [Gunning, promoter] got something bigger in Spain for me.”

“I’m very excited to be fighting over in Spain and to be on such a big card is a dream come true there is some massive names on the card and a wee lad like myself from Cavan stuck in the middle with them. The promoter of the show is Sergio Martinez so it’s a massive opportunity for me so early in my career. I’m just over the moon and can’t thank Boxing Ireland Promotions enough.”

Donegan has been training hard in Dublin throughout 2019 with coach Jonathan Lewins and this camp has even featured sparring with top pro Jason Quigley.

The army man is leaving no stone unturned as he looks to make a big splash in his first six-round contest. Donegan notes how “I am fighting a boxer from Spain so it’s going to be a test. This is a massive stage and you never no who will be watching the fight along with the promoter himself Sergio Martinez.”

“My main focus is to work on things that me and Jonathan and the team have been working on and the goal is to win and keep pushing forward. If I box the way I can, I’m sure I could catch a few eyes and you never know what could happen. I am just delighted to be keeping busy and to get the change to fight in Spain.”

A hugely popular figure in Irish boxing, his three fights so far have seen Donegan’s fans pack out venues in Belfast and Cork. Next month he is slightly further afield but the grateful Ulsterman knows it is necessary and is thankful for the continued support from his extended team.

He explained how “unfortunately in this game you are going to have to travel and to get the fights and you have to take the risk and come out of your comfort zone. It’s a massive plus my team can get me fights over the water as I said. They get me the fights and I will show up and fight I said from day one I want to keep busy and to stay active.”

“At the start in this game you have to have sponsors and I am honoured to have such great people in Cavan and Monaghan who get behind me and sponsor me because I really couldn’t do this without them. I want to give a massive thanks to Rangeland Foods in county Monaghan who are my main sponsors, they are with me since the amateurs, they’re really making my childhood dream a reality. And a massive thanks to my supporters for getting behind me as well, this is only the start.”  

The Irish light middleweight division is bubbling nicely with plenty of other new names at the weight. match-ups with the likes of Bray’s Eddie Tracey, Belfast brawler Owen O’Neill, Limerick’s Graham McCormack or Owen Duffy from nearby Shercock are all on the agenda for Donegan but the focused fighter only has eyes for Spain.

He described how “I feel I am moving the way I want to be moving. as I said to my manager Stephen, I wanted to keep busy and I am pro now seven months and am onto my fourth professional fight. This year has been great so far and hopefully I carry on the great year come 7th of December.

“Anything could happen in 2020. These six rounds put me in the line for the Celtic title so you never know what will happen. But whatever my team decide to go with, I will be happy, because they’re putting me on the right road so far.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie