Donnelly is forced to dig deep as he makes title history at fourth weight
Steven Donnelly had to dog it enough, but he had that extra little bit of quality to dethrone Camlough's Fergus Quinn 4-1 in last night's 75kg final of the Ulster Elites at the Ulster Hall.
In what was a barn-burner of a fight, Donnelly managed to produce the better work in the second half of the contest after losing the first.
Quinn edged the opening round - his shots landing with better authority as both men stood in the trenches.
However it was a quick one-two and huge right that rocked Quinn which swung the contest Donnelly's way in the second and his short rights caught the eye to see the 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist home and in pole position for a trip to next year's Games in Australia.
"Great respect to Fergus Quinn. If that went either way I wouldn't have complained," admitted Donnelly after becoming the first man to win titles at four different weights.
"He deserved it as much as I did so big respect to him.
"It was a very tough fight and I had to dig in for it as you have to do to win your sixth title.
"I was up against it, he's a tough lad and I was moving up in weight to 75 kilos.
"That's only my second fight back since June in the Europeans so it wasn't my best. I know I could do a lot better.
"I should have boxed him and that was the plan, but I just thought I would match him.
"I dug in and caught him with the more convincing shots to win two or three.
"Big respect to him, though I'm just delighted."
Sean McComb took the light-welterweight title with a unanimous win over a game Caoimhin Ferguson.
Gleann's Ferguson was not lacking in heart, but McComb's long levers picked his rival off and helped him score, landing some excellent flurries on his way to a win.
McComb had sympathy for his young opponent and predicts Ferguson's time will come.
"It was just experience, but he'll benefit massively from that," said McComb.
"He's where I was six years ago, fighting a six-time champion in Ryan Lindberg and I fell short by a point. I gained massive experience from it, enjoyed the atmosphere but obviously I was heartbroken at the time.
"Looking back now, it benefited me and that's what's ahead of Caoimhin Ferguson.
"He's a very talented and strong guy and in the future I believe he will be as good as I am."
Aidan Walsh won the battle of the 2015 Youth Games teammates against Oakleafs Brett McGinty 4-1 in the welterweight final, while Eamonn McNally (St Michaels) was a 3-2 winner over Glengormley's Conor Kerr at bantamweight.
The opening bout of the night saw St John Bosco's Kristina O'Hara stake her claim for a place at next year's Commonwealth Games with a comprehensive shut-out win over Chloe Fleck.
The Canal boxer was forced to take standing counts in rounds two and three but bravely fought to the final bell, although she was no match for O'Hara who won by unanimous decision.
The women's flyweight decider went to Cavan's Ceire Smith who forced a third round standing count on her way to a unanimous win over Ormeau Road's Carly McNaul.