Wednesday 13 December 2017

Boxing: Lionheart Nevin braced for tough battle with familiar foe

Bernard O'Neill

JOHN JOE NEVIN will meet the man who almost derailed his Olympic dream when he debuts for the British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) tomorrow week.

The 2012 Olympic silver medallist is slated to face Serbia's Branimir Stankovic when the Lionhearts host Italia Thunder at the Celtic Manor in Wales.

Nevin fractured his jaw in an accidental clash of heads en route to beating Stankovic on a split decision when he lined out for Paris United in the WSB last March.

The two-time AIBA World medallist was barred from sparring for weeks after the injury amid concerns that he would miss the London Olympics, where he won silver.

"It was a very tough fight the last time and neither of us was holding back," said Nevin, who will move up from bantamweight to lightweight for the WSB 2012/13 season.

Joe Ward, the reigning European champion, is also in line to debut for the Lionhearts against the Italians, who have re-signed Ireland's Willie McLaughlin.

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