Most boxers use social media to challenge bitter rivals. Steven Donnelly tried begging on Twitter and Instagram to make £16,000 for a night’s work instead of chasing opponents.
Donnelly cannot wait to star at the Indigo, London on Friday 20th September in the latest instalment of Ultimate Boxxer, live on BoxNation.
The Ballymena boxer saw the Super-Welterweight tournament advertised and pestered the promoters on social media and eventually got the nod.
And the former Olympian and double Commonwealth Games bronze medalist is hot favourite to win the competition, where he’ll have to win three fights over three rounds inside three hours to trouser the winners’ cheque.
Donnelly, who has won all five professional fights, said: “I begged on social media and then my management company MTK did the rest when I was told to speak with them. All the hard work is done now and it is a case of just making the weight.
“I will give it my all and I am looking forward to get the first fight out of the way. I am fighting in the last quarter-final and wont have the same rest as my rivals, but no problem.”
Donnelly boxes Ish O’Connor in the quarter-final with the winner facing whoever triumphs between Lewis Syrett and Sean Robinson. In the other two battles Kingsley Egbunike meets Lenny Fuller and Kaan Hawkes is up against Joshua Ejakpovi.
Having reached the last eight at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where a split decision cost him a medal, bronze gongs at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and eight fights in the WSB mean it was a no-brainer for bookies to make him favourite.
Donnelly, 31, has already boxed at Madison Square Garden as a pro said: “I guess I’m favourite because I have had amateur experience, I’m an Olympian and I've won stuff like my medals at tournaments.
“My style is suited to these formats, but I know how hard it’s going to be to win the competition. The rest of the guys will be just as hungry and ambitious. They know there is a big prize at the end of the night.
“It is not going to be easy for me and I am just forgetting about that tag of being the bookies’ favourite. There is pressure there, but I am going to go out and give it my all.
“There are going be nerves, expectancy, but I am looking forward to it and just getting the job done. It is hard being favourite because in this format anything can happen, someone goes gung-ho and it only takes once punch.
“There are some big hitters in it so I need to stay smart, switched on and must do what I have got to do,” he explained.
Donnelly hasn’t looked at any of his rivals apart from brief clips and leaves the studying to his trainer Gerard McManus.
He says being in the event has increased his profile and hopes winning will be the springboard to a British Title shot: “Hopefully if I win there will be bigger fights in the pipeline for bigger purses.
“There are guys in England like British Champion Ted Cheeseman, Scott Fitzgerald and Anthony Fowler. I would love to win the British Title, although I know how hard it is to win.”
And what would he do with the £16,000 for winning? Without pausing for breath he revealed: “I won’t be blowing it. I might have a little holiday. It’ll be spent wisely or saved to be comfortable for a while.
“I have recently passed some personal training courses so what is saved might help towards a gym I want to buy with my girlfriend where we can train people and do boxercise classes.
“We can see what happens, but we would both get a lot of clients and it could work.”