Steven Donnelly to turn professional in the coming weeks

The Ballymena star will join Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes in the paid ranks

BY Daniel Kelly 13:38 Thursday 22 September 2016, 13:38 22 Sep 2016

Steven Donnelly Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Steven Donnelly is the third Irish boxer that competed at Rio 2016 to confirm he is turning professional.

The 28-year-old welterweight lost in the quarter-finals to Morocco's Mohammed Rabii, and was one of the few Irish boxers to impress in Brazil Donnelly defeated Algerian and Mongolian opponents on the way to the last-eight.

Following on from the news that Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes are to joined the paid ranks, Donnelly told the BBC he will follow suit. "I have done everything I can do in the amateur game", the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist confirmed.

Donnelly qualified for the Olympic Games through the World Series of Boxing. The WSB format is very similar to the professional ranks which may come to the Ballymena fighter's advantage.

"The longer rounds will suit me as you can take your time and settle into the fight", he added.

He hopes to follow Michael Conlan to America, but is willing to stay closer to home to pursue his professional dreams.

"If that doesn't work out then I can go the same route as Paddy Barnes and stay on these shores, but hopefully I will know what I'm doing in the next couple of weeks."

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