Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Nevin eyes Olympic prize

John Joe Nevin wants to compete at Rio 2016

Ireland's Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin has confirmed his intention to target gold in 2016 in Rio after helping the British Lionhearts to their latest World Series of Boxing success.

Nevin, beaten by long-time rival Luke Campbell in the bantamweight final in London, initially announced his intention to turn professional after London but admitted a few weeks later it had been a mistake.

"I said if I won an Olympic medal I would turn professional afterwards. When I jumped out of that ring it was still my only intention," he said. "But I sat down and realised I had just missed out by three points against Campbell, which is not a lot of difference when it comes to being crowned Olympic champion."

He added: "I want to go back and give it one more bash as I'll still only be 27 years old when Rio comes round. Hopefully next time I can go one further."

Nevin has moved up to the 61kg lightweight limit to compete in WSB and looked strong in a clear points win over Daouda Sow, which set the Lionhearts up for a 5-0 whitewash of the USA Knockouts in Bethnal Green.

Frenchman Sow won an Olympic silver medal in Beijing and subsequently turned professional, winning all 12 fights before taking advantage of AIBA's amnesty to return to the amateur ranks.

The WSB is made for elite amateur fighters like Nevin, who can keep ticking over at the highest level while targeting major titles, with both European and World Championships to come this year.

Nevin added: "I'm only a 56kg boxer and I'm boxing at 61kg so it's quite difficult for me against the bigger guys, but I'm throwing a lot harder and I'm really getting a lot from fighting (in) the WSB.

"I have got some big medals to aim for this year so I am definitely not thinking about relaxing and taking time out. I want to build on it and grow and keep getting better. You haven't seen the best of me yet."

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