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American dream: breaking down the details of John Joe Nevin's pro move

Olympic silver medallist took the first step on his pro journey yesterday — here’s what it all means.

Nevin: dreams of Croke Park.
Nevin: dreams of Croke Park.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

What’s the deal?

Nevin announced yesterday that he has agreed a professional management deal with Greenblood Boxing, a partnership between the US-based GreenBlood team and financial backers Berkeley Sport and Media.

Who will he be working with?

Nevin is moving to Philadelphia  to work and train with the GreenBlood team. Three Irish fighters are already based out there: Anthony Cacace, Tyrone McKenna and Ray Ginley.

At the head of the operation is manager Tom Moran. Moran previously managed former world heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon and Kassim “the Dream” Ouma.

Nevin’s coach, Brian McKeown from Cavan BC, will continue to work with him following the move.

Why Greenblood?

As Nevin explained yesterday he had “many, many” professional offers on the table. GreenBlood’s strong Irish connection appear to have tipped the balance in his favour.

“With the boys out there, Anthony Cacace and Ray Ginley, it helped me more to want to go out there. That’s probably the reason why I did it.”

Will GreenBlood be promoting his fights?

No. Instead, GreenBlood say they are in negotiations to find the right promotion deal for Nevin.

“We would expect John Joe to sign a deal with a major promoter in the next couple of months,” Moran said, name-dropping both Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing and Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as two options.

What’s the plan for his future?

Moran believes that there is a massive Irish boxing market in America for Nevin to exploit.

Most of his initial fights are likely to be in these Irish strongholds as he builds his profile — New York, New Jersey, Atlantic City, Boston and Philadelphia.

YouTube credit: niallscore

When will his first pro fight be?

At this stage, it seems highly unlikely that Nevin will be back in the ring before the new year. The inital fights are expected to be four- or six-rounders stateside.

Will he be fighting in Ireland again?

Yes, Moran said that they will insist on promoters allowing one Irish fight a year. Whether that materialises remains to be seen.

“If you just sign the first thing a promoter is going to push it’s not going to work for us,” Moran said. “We want certain things.”

What about his long-term goals?

Nevin spoke again yesterday about his dream to win a world title and then defend it on home soil in Croke Park.

“I think there was only one fight ever in Croke Park and Muhammad Ali was involved in it so I want to be the second to do it.”

I want to be world champion — and defend my title in Croke Park

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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