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Nevin Set For Final Battle Against Family Friend

Irish fighter John Joe Nevin is facing the battle of his life tonight in order to achieve Olympic gold.

The Mullingar fighter, who is hoping to emulate the success earlier this week of Katie Taylor and win a gold medal, is in action at 8.45pm.

He beat Cuba’s reigning world champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada yesterday afternoon on a score of 19-14 and will face Britain’s Luke Campbell in tonight’s final at the Excel Arena in London.

The Mullingar bantamweight gave the performance of his life, winning all three rounds against Estrada and bringing the house down at the ExCel Arena. Nevin nailed the Cuban with some wonderful combinations while always fighting at long distance.

It was closer in round two with Estrada desperately trying to claw back the lead but he couldn’t cope with Nevin’s clean.

With Estrada unable to make much headway, Nevin did his self proclaimed Mullingar Shuffle, reminiscent of the great Ali shuffle. Nevin got the Cuban right where he wanted him with the shuffle making him an easy target.

Hull native Campbell eased through his bantamweight semi-final against Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu winning 20-11. He will find it tougher against Nevin, an opponent he is familiar with.

Campbell has Irish relatives on his dad’s side and they know the Nevin clan in Cavan.

His Irish aunt was telling him how good Nevin is when he last spoke to her.

“The Irish side of my family know the Nevin family pretty well,” he said. “My dad’s mum and dad were from Ireland and one was from Northern Ireland and the other from southern Ireland.

“I was talking to my family in Ireland a few months ago and they all said they knew John Joe and his family.

“We were all talking about what a great fighter he is.

“I knew it could happen at the beginning of this tournament that we could meet again and it’s great to have a GB v Ireland Olympic final.

“He’s done brilliantly and I’ve done fantastically well too, so I’m fully expecting a great final.”

The duo have met each other twice before with both claiming one victory each but the Irish public will be hoping Nevin can get the better of Campbell and guarantee a second gold medal for Ireland.

 

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