Tuesday 20 March 2018

Teen boxer beaten up by man 'may quit sport'

Mary Kate Nevin
Mary Kate Nevin
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The father of the 15-year-old boxer who was punched in the face by an adult trainer said she may never step into the ring again.

Mary Kate Nevin is recovering at home in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, after the incident in a hotel corridor in Germany on Saturday.

Mary Kate, who has been described as the 'next Katie Taylor', had been competing at the Queen's Cup.

Team manager Bernie Harold said Mary Kate and another competitor went to another room in the hotel in Stralsund when the incident happened.

She said they were giggling and laughing and the noise had woken the alleged attacker.

"This man came out of the room and punched her in the eye," said Ms Harold.

Mary Kate, who is a cousin of Olympic medallist John Joe Nevin, suffered a black eye and was taken to hospital to be examined. The matter was also reported to German police.

Read more: Irish female boxing captain (15) hospitalised after being 'punched' by adult trainer

Her anxious father Paddy Nevin said yesterday his daughter might not get into the ring again after the incident.

"She's only a child, she's in bed now, and while her eye is physically recovering, I'm worried that she has been hurt emotionally and mentally," said Paddy.

"I said to her 'are you going to box again?' And she just said, 'I don't know, daddy'. She's just a young girl but she has incredible potential. I don't know what to do."

Mr Nevin said he wanted the Russian trainer who allegedly carried out the assault charged and banned for life from the sport of boxing.

"I also want to know how he became a coach and if he was vetted," he said.

"Mary Kate could be the next Katie Taylor. It will be an awful shame if this affects her. She has been told that she has potential for the 2020 Olympics. She has won 23 Irish titles. She's dedicated, and trains six days a week. Mary Kate was team captain while away on the tournament, voted the best person in it, and won gold."

The incident will be discussed by officials next week at a meeting of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

"For an adult to do that to a child, especially a gentle little girl, is awful. Mary Kate told me she never got a black eye in all her time boxing, and then this happens outside of the ring," said Ms Harold.

Irish Independent

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