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'I met Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy, which is always nice, and they saw John Joe Nevin'

The Mullingar fighter reckons he can go all the way and claim gold for Ireland in London. And do it his own way.

Ireland's John Joe Nevin prepares for his fight against Kazakhstan's Kanat Abutalipov yesterday.
Ireland's John Joe Nevin prepares for his fight against Kazakhstan's Kanat Abutalipov yesterday.
Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images

JOHN JOE NEVIN reckons he’s on track for Olympic gold after his impressive second-round win over Kazakh Kanat Abutalipov yesterday.

Now the Mullingar fighter man is one victory away from a guaranteed medal.

“I can go all the way,” said Nevin. ”I honestly believe that. I wouldn’t be in the competition if I didn’t think I could go all the way.

“This is me, this is John Joe Nevin, I allow my mind to wander sometimes when I’m in the ring and allow my opponent to take charge. It is frustrating but I think I am mastering it here, at least so far,” he added.

Nevin sought and received reassurance over his competing at these Games from head coach Billy Walsh and is thankful that he took his advice.

“I was talking to Billy, thinking about whether or not I’d go to the Olympics,” said Nevin, who is likely to turn professional after the Games. ”And now I’m one fight away from being in the semi-final. It shows you what I can change if I think about what I’m doing and go in there and perform.”

Nevin will again climb into the ring on Sunday to face Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro. But he’s enjoying Village life in the meantime.

“I met Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy, which is always nice, and they saw John Joe Nevin of course,” he said. ”I’m just hoping to meet the two Williams sisters (Venus annd Serena) and get a picture with them. They’d be heroes of mine. And I met (Rafael) Nadal at the last Olympics. He’d be another hero of mine.”

- additional reporting AFP

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