THE chance to fight at one of America’s iconic venues is still high on the bucket list of most British fighters. Some get to do it after reaching a certain level of success while others are handed undercard opportunities early in their careers.
Ricky Hatton had his second pro outing on the undercard of Naseem Hamed’s fourth-round KO win over Kevin Kelly at Madison Square Garden in December of 1997 before returning to the US as a world light-welterweight Champion years later. Ballymena-based Steven Donnelly (3-0, 0) will hope to share a similar journey to Hatton after being given the opportunity to feature on the undercard of Daniel Jacobs’s vacant IBF middleweight title fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko at MSG tomorrow night.
Although the 30-year-old will not be fighting in front of a packed house, Donnelly has told the Belfast Telegraph that he intends to relish every moment of his US debut. “This is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “The fights are coming thick and fast, it’s my fourth fight in two months and it couldn’t be on a better stage.