Impressive Nevin off to a flyer in Milan boxing
Cavan's John Joe Nevin made a perfect start to his campaign at the World Championships in Milan yesterday.
The Beijing Olympian simply waltzed through his opening bout with an impressive 19-4 victory over Azerbaijan's Rahim Najafov.
Nevin measured up his opponent with ease in the opening round, taking a 6-2 lead into the second round.
He remained in control throughout the final two rounds, winning the second 6-1 and the final round 7-1 and now faces Serbian Nikola Magovac on Saturday.
Darren O’Neill also sparkled in his first contest, stopping Rajan Shilpakar of Nepal in the second round when 21-0 ahead.
O'Neill's blitz left him 18-0 up at the end of a whirlwind opening round in which Shilpakar had to take a count and the Irishman now meets Stipica Borkelo of Croatia on Saturday.
Lightweight Eric Donovan completed a treble for the Irish when he overcame Bakhodir Karimov of Tajikistan 13-4 and faces India’s Jai Bhagwan on Saturday.
Willie McLoughlin of the Illies Golden Gloves club in Donegal makes his bow today and on paper he looks to have been handed a good draw as he faces Come Ndyishmiye of Burundi.
This is McLoughlin’s first World Championships but the gritty welterweight is not one for suffering opening night nerves and should seal victory.
Athy’s David Oliver Joyce is expected to have a much tougher time when he faces Thailand's Wuttichai Masuk in his opening featherweight contest.
Meanwhile, super-middleweight prospect Darren O’Neill returns to the ring on October 16 in Sunderland.
Manager Frank Maloney says he is lining up four-fight novice Sutherland for an Irish or Commonwealth title shot next year.
“I'm certain that by the middle of next year Darren will be fighting for a title. The Irish super-middleweight title is a possibility or the Commonwealth belt,” said Maloney.
“I've been very impressed with the way he has adapted to the pro business. I think he's more mature than many fighters starting out on their professional career so we can push him along.”