Danny Donatto began boxing in the Fifth Ward neighborhood of Houston, Texas. He boxed out of The H.O.P.E. Development Center, on Lyons Avenue, under coaches Jimmy Fields and David Carrington.
Danny won The Houston Golden Gloves in 1971 as a novice featherweight, in 1972 as a novice welterweight, and in 1973 as the Open Division Champion at welterweight. In his amateur career Donatto battled other great local talent such as Oscar Trevino, Danny O’Quinn, and Ruben Nuncio.
Donatto would also pursue a professional career in boxing, compiling an 11-7-1 record while fighting the likes of Ike Fluellen, John Capitano, Darnell Knox, and Milton Seward.
Donatto is also credited with being the initial person to invite future fellow Houston boxing legend Melvin Dennis to The H.O.P.E. Development Center in February of 1969, setting off what would be an extraordinary boxing career for Dennis.