John Joe Nevin takes first steps on road to recovery
LONDON 2012 silver medallist John Joe Nevin will have his second pro fight before Christmas, according to his coach Brian McKeown, writes Bernard O'Neill.
Nevin took his first tentative steps back into the ring at the Cavan boxing club yesterday following the vicious assault which left him with two broken legs near his home in Mullingar last month.
Nevin turned pro with GreenBlood of Philadelphia and Berkeley Sports & Media of the UK last year and claimed his first victory in the paid ranks at the House of Blues in Boston on St Patrick's Day.
The former AIBA world No 1-ranked bantamweight beat durable Puerto Rican puncher Albert Candelaria on a unanimous decision in New England.
His career has been put on hold since the assault, but McKeown, who was working his corner against Candelaria, is confident he'll be back between the ropes again in 2014.
"The mobility is limited at this stage, so we're working on upper-body strength, flexibility and reflexes," said McKeown.
"We hoping that in 10 or 12 days he gets the all-clear and is off the sticks (crutches). I would be confident that he'll be back boxing before the end of the year.
"I'd be delighted to get him away from the environment he's in.
"Billy Walsh (Irish head coach) will tell you that when John goes into training camp he blooms. I would want him coming back gradually.
"He needs the fights and there's no time to waste. Realistically, I'm looking for a fight for November or December. I would love if that fight was in Ireland.
"But it will probably be in the USA. Next year we'll be looking to step up to eight-rounders. John did very well over six rounds on his debut against the Puerto Rican lad."