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John Joe Nevin drops Freddy Fonseca en route to classy, career-best win as a pro

Elsewhere, Andy Lee’s Top Rank-promoted prospect Paddy Donovan cruised to 2-0 in the professional ranks.

John Joe Nevin (file pic).
John Joe Nevin (file pic).
Image: Emily Harney/INPHO

MULLINGAR SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHT JOHN Joe Nevin passed the biggest test of his professional career with flying colours as he dropped Nicaragua’s Freddy Fonseca in the second round before boxing his way to a wide unanimous-decision victory in York Hall, London.

Nevin, whose venture into the paid ranks has been hampered by an egregious double leg-break in 2014 as well as other injuries and out-of-ring issues, at times rolled back the years in an accomplished display and was well worth the 99-90, 97-92 x2 verdict in his favour.

In what was his first 10-rounder, the 30-year-old former Olympic silver medallist, now 14-0(4KOs), tired somewhat at the turn but still showed the nous to diffuse the second-half attacks by Fonseca, whose record drops to 27-5-1(17KOs).

The Central American, 27, had understandably been touted as the puncher of the pair but it was Nevin who planted Fonseca on the seat of his pants in the second round, a picture-perfect jab-right-hand combination dropping and rocking the dangerous southpaw.

Nevin’s counter left hook, straight right and body work were effective throughout the contest and even when Fonseca sensed his opponent might be tiring and began to march forward from the sixth, Nevin possessed sufficient ring IQ to spoil most of his efforts while still getting off some quality work of his own.

With a valuable 10 rounds and a career-best victory as a pro in the bag, Nevin — who pocketed a minor WBA belt for his troubles — will hope he can launch a world-title assault in the not-too-distant future, although there remains a long road ahead.

Up in Glasgow, there was double Irish success as Limerick welterweight Paddy Donovan — who earned a sensational first-round stoppage on his professional debut in Belfast last month — was victorious over six rounds in his sophomore outing as a professional.

Trained by Andy Lee and promoted by Top Rank, there are high hopes for the prodigiously talented former Irish underage standout, and he boxed exquisitely at times en route to a 60-53 sweep of stepping-stone opponent Danny Mendoza.

‘Real Deal’ Donovan floored the never-been-stopped Danny Mendoza with a pinpoint left uppercut in the second and produced a stylish six rounds to move to 2-0(1KO). The 20-year-old will travel with Lee to California for a training camp in January and confirmed post-fight that he will return to the ring on St Patrick’s weekend when he’ll feature on a Michael Conlan-headlined Top Rank bill at Madison Square Garden, New York.

paddy d Paddy Donovan (L) in action in Glasgow. Source: MTK Global

On the same MTK Global Glasgow show, Dublin’s Pierce ‘Big Bang’ O’Leary — a year younger than Donovan and seven pounds lighter at 140 — also earned his second professional victory, winning all four rounds against career journeyman Chris Adaway, who has been stopped just eight times in his 62 defeats.

Similarly to his debut, O’Leary — who would have been a Paris Olympic hopeful in 2024 had he not turned pro — was at times over-eager and smothered his won work, but still bossed proceedings as he marched Adaway around the ring for 16 minutes.

Nevin: ‘I swear, I look at how well some of my old rivals are doing – rivals who I beat – and I nearly cry to myself’

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