‘The Donn’ wants Sheeraz and Smith showdowns – Ultimate Boxxer searching for straps

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Steven Donnelly [8(3)-0] has his sights set on Sheeraz, Smith and their straps.

The Olympian gave his career a massive boost when he claimed Ultimate Boxxer victory last year.

The Prizefighter-styled tournament increased ‘The Donn’s’ bank balance, notoriety, and chances of fighting for a title.

Most assumed he would look to go the domestic route and may target a Celtic, Commonwealth or British crown, but the Ballymena man has his sights set on two ranking titles.

The fighter, who wowed BT Sport viewers with a stoppage-laden surge to the Ultimate Boxxer crown back in September, appears on this weekend’s card at the Ulster Hall hoping victory will move him closer to two titles and opponents in particular.

Donnelly wants Hamza Sheeraz’s WBO European ranking title or Kieran Smith’s WBC International Silver ranking title, or both before the year is done.

“By the end of the year, I want the WBO European title currently held by Hamza Sheeraz. I’d love a shot at him. There are some other big fights like Kieran Smith, who has a nice WBC belt as well,” he explained before expressing how much he is looking forward to his ring return.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there and into the action. I’m excited to do so in front of the Belfast fans. I’m going to start this year with a bang.”

“I really enjoyed Ultimate Boxxer. I loved every minute of it. There was a lot of pressure because I was the favourite going into it but I got that big prize in the end.”

“I was in great shape for that tournament and I’m really starting to bang. I was happy with how the whole thing went and it has put my name out there as someone to look out for.”

“I’ve done a lot of training off my own back since then. I even trained on Christmas Day simply because I was bored! I ticked over throughout the festive season and now I’m ready to shine on February 1st.”

Donnelly faces the endlessly experienced William Warburton on a bustling bill at the Ulster Hall, with Sean McComb v Mauro Maximiliano Godoy, Davey Oliver Joyce vs. Lee Haskins for the WBO European super-bantamweight title, Gary Cully vs. Joe Fitzpatrick for the Irish lightweight crown, Lewis Crocker vs. John Thain and much more.

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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