John Joe Nevin.
John Joe Nevin.
It is back to the US for John Joe Nevin’s eagerly-anticipated debut, slated for March 17 in Boston.
The Cavan clubman has put the disappointment of fights in Madison Square Gardens and in London falling through and has prepared diligently at home for the high-profile debut at the famous House of Blues venue on a St Patricks Day spectacular that features some of Golden Boy Promotions’ top Irish prospects as well as America’s top Irish rock band Dropkick Murphys, featured at the after fight celebrations.
Nevin faces a stiff enough engagement with Peurto Rican Alberto Canderella, a 28-year-old lightweight unbeaten in four contests that includes two knockouts.
He promises to travel with ambition. The tournament also features long time Andrew Murray rumoured foe Danny O’Connor and Freddie Roach-trained Jamie Kavanagh alongside GreenBlood’s latest signing, Irish heavyweight champion Tommy McCarthy, and will be featured on both HBO in the US and on Box Nation here in Europe.
While Candelaria is expected to provide stiff opposition and is a step up from the usual suspects rolled out to inflate prospects’ early records, Cavan coach Brian McKeown is adamant that his protégé has the tools to carry out an eye-catching debut.
Nevin has been sparring regularily in Dublin, Belfast, London and Philadelphia and his gym work has drawn lots of admiration in those confines. The experience gained in WSB and major international events has turned him into a strong, mature and heavy-handed fighter and nobody gives away Olympic and World medals so the switch in codes should be an easy transition.
John Joe will be a busy fighter between now and the summer with a further six contests lined up in venues as far apart as Dublin, London, Phiadelphia, Chicago, New York and Belfast in the pipeline. Management have guaranteed an all GreenBlood show locally this summer featuring Nevin, McCarthy, Anthony Cacace, Tyrone McKenna, Ray Ginley and a soon to be announced other major Irish signing.
It has also been another busy period on the local amateur scene with all eight of the Cavan club’s entrants through to this weekend’s Mid Ulster championships in Banbridge, the first hurdle on the way to Ulster and Irish titles. No less than nine boxers took home titles from the inaugural Meath Open championships in Navan using the event as a warm-up for the assault on the national and provincial titles.
However the entry in this year’s Mid Ulster Youths was disappointingly-low due to the current economic situation that has seen many clubs go to the wall. The cost of travel, accomadation, affilliation, insurance etc and frustration at some questionable decisions have just proved too much for many established clubs, officials and volunteers.
The Cavan club will be calling a meeting in the near future to sort out plans for its next few years.
The involvement and guidance of founder member Brian McKeown will be severely curtailed by new rules involving participation of professionals in the corner and could prove a big obstacle but the club have a number of newly-qualified coaches, an experienced team of boxers and an excellent gym to provide a solid base for the some time to come.