JOHN JOE NEVIN will fight for a gold medal tomorrow night.
The Mullingar man beat Cuban Lazaro Alvarez Estrada in their bantamweight semi-final bout at the Excel Arena on a score of 19-14.
Nevin was impressive throughout, winning all three rounds; he took the first 5-3, the second 7-6 and the final round 7-5. He’ll face Team GB’s Luke Campbell in the decider, after he impressed in his last-four bout against Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu.
“I seem to be getting better as it goes along and I’m enjoying it,” Nevin told Marty Morrissey. “As Kenneth Egan said, he enjoyed it in Beijing and that’s what took him so far. And Kenneth was like a god to me and now I’m in the same position as him. Hopefully I can go one step better but I’m enjoying it, no matter what the outcome.”
With Paddy Barnes beaten by a single point in a countback against this Chinese opponent in the previous fight, the Irish camp have experienced mixed emotions today, and Michael Conlan still has to fight tonight.
“Within a half an hour we come from despair to joy,” said Irish boxing chief Billy Walsh on RTÉ afterwards. “John Joe has been absolutely brilliant all this week and you know each fight he’s got better. And he knew he had to improve. Today he gave a masterclass of boxing, this guy had no answer for him. He was left bewildered and this guy gave up in the third round I think because he knew he couldn’t catch John Joe.