John Joe Nevin will now hope to trade his silver medal for a gold in Saturday's final.View More Images
John Joe Nevin this afternoon out-thought and out-fought the world champion to secure his place in Saturday's Olympic final. The Cavan based boxer's straight right proved the the undoing of Cuban Lazaro Alvarez Estrada as he won by five points in the 56kg semi-final.
Nevin will face Britain's Luke Campbell in his attempts to trade his guaranteed silver medal for a gold. In a one-sided encounter Campbell beat Japan's Satosh Shimizu 20 points to 11 to claim a spot in the final, scheduled for 8.45pm.
The last time Nevin faced Campbell, in this year's World Championship semi-finals, the British fighter scraped through by one point. This time he will also have the benefit of home advantage.
In today's semi-final, a cagey opening round saw Nevin's superior footwork create angles to craft a two point lead, taking it five points to three. Nevin had started the first round the more aggressive but enjoyed more success half way through by standing off his opponent.
The second round saw Nevin catch Alvarez with a number of clean rights, but the Cuban responded well with only a one point gain achieved by the Mullingar man. Going into the final round with a 12 points to nine lead, Nevin caused his huge Irish support at ExCel Arena in London's docklands some anxious moments as he tried his hand at some questionable showboating. Dropping his guard, he invited the Cuban bantam-weight on, but repeatedly beat Estrada to the punch, ultimately taking the third round seven points to five and the contest 19 to 14.
Billy Walsh, Ireland Team coach, described Nevin's performance as a "master class."
The Cuban had no answer for him, he said. "We have worked hard on performance and it paid off today."
John Joe said he was overjoyed with the result. He hoped that he could go one better than his friend Kenny Egan did four years ago in Beijing and bring home the gold.
"I'm not worried and I'm not putting myself under pressure." He added that on his day he is a match for anyone. His aim was to give his best and that he did.
I scored well in each round and I could get through his guard." Towards the end he gave what he called the "Mullingar shuffle" and admitted it was a bit of show boating.
Looking towards the final he said, "There is still more to come from me."