Tuesday 21 October 2014

John Joe Nevin undergoes second surgical operation on horrific leg injuries

The IABA's sport psychologist Gerry Hussey has been in touch with Nevin as he begins his long rehab journey

Eamon Carr

Published 07/04/2014 | 12:03

John Joe Nevin
John Joe Nevin.
John Joe Nevin
John Joe Nevin
Ireland's John Joe Nevin, who won gold in the 56kg Bantamweight division at EUBC European Men's Boxing Championships 2013 in Minsk, Belarus, with his 3-year-old son Martin
Ireland's John Joe Nevin, with his 3-year-old son Martin, after winning gold at the european Championships last year

John Joe Nevin is undergoing a second surgical operation at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore this morning as doctors strive to repair the damage done to his leg in an assault in Mullingar on Saturday morning.

The Olympic silver medalist had his leg broken in two places in an incident that's being investigated by the Gardai.

"He's bearing up well," says his longtime coach Brian McKeown. "He's a fine lad and has overcome many obstacles to be ranked among the best in the world. John Joe is keeping his spirits up and I'm convinced he'll bounce back from this setback."

While concerns remain about the possible long term effects of Nevin's injuries, believed to have been administered by a golf club and a cudgel, his coach claims his management team have plans in place to guarantee his rehabilitation.

"It has been a shocking experience," says McKeown. "Especially after such an impressive performance in his professional debut in Boston against Alberto Candelaria. His promoter, Tom Moran of GreenBlood Boxing, had a terrific itinerary planned for him over the summer, including a major headlining event in Mullingar."

McKeown, an astute coach who's guided Nevin's career since he was a juvenile, adds, "John Joe is determined to get back to his best in the ring and I've no doubt he will. The fast footwork that marked his amateur performances isn't as essential in the pro game. And his style has already been evolving to suit the demands of the longer bouts."

“Tom Moran is arranging for John Joe to move to the States when he can travel so that a successful recuperation and rehab can be monitored,” adds McKeown. “The offer was there already for John Joe to base himself on the east coast but he’s always liked living in Ireland so he preferred to train here and fly over for engagements. That may change now.”

Nevin's performances at the London Olympics 2012, when he defeated Mexico's one-time world youth champion Oscar Valdez-Fierro in the quarter-final and then dispatched Cuba's AIBA World champion Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez in the semi-final, showed him to be a hot prospect for future world titles in the pro game.

It's believed the Sports Council of Ireland have also rallied behind their injured silver medal winner. And the IABA's sports psychologist, Gerry Hussey, the man who worked with Nevin and the rest of Ireland's Olympians in London 2012, has been in touch with John Joe and assured him he'll be on hand to help guide the Mullingar man through the recovery process.

But as his family and colleagues anxiously await a medical update following today's surgery, these remain worrying times for John Joe Nevin.

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