John Joe Nevin will be aiming to become the third Irish boxer to win Olympic gold in London tonight……
John Joe Nevin will become the 7th Irish boxer to compete in an Olympic final when he steps between the ropes to meet Great Britain southpaw Luke Campbell at the ExCel in London tonight.
John McNally (1952), Fred Tiedt (1956), Michael Carruth (1992), Wayne McCullough (1992), Ken Egan (2008) and Katie Taylor (2012) have represented Ireland in Olympic finals.
Nevin, a two-time AIBA World medalist and a two-time Irish Olympian, has registered four victories at London 2012 to set up tonight’s bantamweight decider with Campbell, who boxes out of the St Paul’s ABC in Hull.
Both boxers have “previous”, Nevin winning 13-2 en route to silver at the EU Championships in Denmark in 2009 and Campbell edging a countback decision following a tie in the semi-finals of the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Campbell had to settle for silver in the Azeri capital after losing out to Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez-Estrada. Nevin, in what was arguably his greatest ever performance in an Irish vest, outclassed Alvarez-Estrada, the current AIBA World champion and number one seed, in yesterday’s Olympic semi-final to guarantee himself at least silver.
Campbell, who has strong Irish roots, convincingly beat Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu (20-11) in his semi-final.
“I said at the beginning that it would be great to have me and Nevin in the final and here we are. I’ve got Irish family and they know his family – simple as that, ” he said.
Dominic O’Rourke, IABA Director of Boxing, said that Nevin is having a fantastic Olympics.
“If John produces the performance he produced against the Cuban bantamweight in the semi-final then I would be confident. He’s in tremendous form and fingers crossed he can do it.”
Both boxers weighed-in this morning and Nevin can’t wait for the opening bell says Irish team manager Des Donnelly.
“John is in great form and really looking forward to the final with confidence. He gave a great display against his Cuban opponent in the semi-finals and his confidence is high. We are all confident that he will do well, he said.
“John was our first boxer into the ring at these Olympics and he will be our last leaving the ring and hopefully he will be leaving the ring with a gold medal tonight.”
The Irish team manager also praised Irish show jumper Cian O’Connor following his bronze medal win.
“There has been a lot of attention on the boxers and the medals they have won, but on behalf of the team here I would like to congratulate Cian O’Connor on winning bronze. It is a fantastic achievement.”
Tonight’s bantamweight final is scheduled for 8.45pm.