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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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London 2012: John Joe Nevin shows his class in opening win

The bantamweight was too good for his Danish opponent in this afternoon’s opening bout.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Updated 17.10

IRELAND’S BOXING SQUAD got their medal challenge off to a convincing start in London this afternoon as John Joe Nevin cruised into the bantamweight division’s last 16.

The two-time world medallist controlled his opening bout against Denmark’s Denis Ceylan from the opening bell and ran out winner by 15 points, 21-6.

Ranked fourth in the world, Nevin was bemused by yesterday’s decision to only seed him fifth, denying him a bye straight through to the last 16.

But after entering London’s ExCeL Arena to a massive ovation, the 23-year-old made light work of his task and outclassed the Dane.

“I probably get a bit too cocky for my own good at times,” Nevin joked afterwards, “but that’s typical me.”

Boxing out of the red corner, Nevin kept his distance in the opening round and refused to let Ceylan get in too tight.

Up 5-2 by the end of the first, the 23-year-old pulled away in the second round to lead 13-4 before closing out the final round to win on the judges’ scorecards.

“It gives me more confidence that I haven’t lost a round so far and they’re scoring my body shots,” he told Will Downing.

“Every fight is tough but you’ve got to deal with it. Nobody else is going to deal with it, only you. I’m confident if I perform I can beat anyone.”

With Darren O’Neill winning his own last 32 bout and Adam Nolan in action tomorrow evening, head coach Billy Walsh said that Nevin’s win will build momentum for the rest of the Irish team.

After the first round he was a little bit shaky but he took control in the second round and got back to doing what he’s very good at and controlled it very, very well.

It’s a nice one to get an easier victory under your belt. It gets you into the fight, gets you into the tournament and you know what the atmosphere is all about, so he’ll be more ready the next day.

Nevin will be back in the ring on Wednesday for the last 16 where he meets Kanat Abutalipov of Kazakhstan. Abutalipov won his last 32 bout against Wessam Slamana of Syria 15-7.

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Niall Kelly

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