Ballymena fighter Steven Donnelly turns professional

Steven Donnelly (right) will begin his career in the paid ranks at 154lbs and joins the same stable as fellow former Olympians Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes
Steven Donnelly (right) will begin his career in the paid ranks at 154lbs and joins the same stable as fellow former Olympians Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes

Double Commonwealth Games medallist Steven Donnelly has succeeded in his second attempt to turn professional.

The Ballymena fighter tried to join fellow Olympians Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan in the paid ranks after the Rio Games in 2016.

However he suggested that he had not been offered financially attractive terms in talks with promoters.

Donnelly, 29, has now turned pro with MTK Global who also have Carl Frampton, Conlan and Barnes on their books.

He reached the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympics and won Ulster and Irish titles as an amateur.

After winning bronze medals at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games at welterweight and middleweight respectively, Donnelly will begin his pro career at 154lbs.

He said: "I've always said that the professional game would suit me".

"If you look at the end of my amateur career, I was starting to fight a lot more. My style was becoming pro.

"I can box and I can fight and I'll be showing that on my debut. I'm knuckling down to train every day. I'm very dedicated.

"I want to be fast-tracked and get going straight away. I believe I've the talent to go very far in this game."

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