Superstars start somewhere and for London Olympic silver medalist, John Joe Nevin, his Monday night fight looks to be the perfect introduction into pro boxing.
It doesn’t get much better for an Irish boxer than making a pro debut on St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, before a sellout crowd at the famed House of Blues live on Fox Sports to a national television audience.
Nevin is the most decorated male, amateur boxer in Irish history, filling his trophy case with his 2012 Olympic silver medal, two bronze medals from World Championships, along with two gold medals and a silver in the highly competitive European Championships.
Nevin meets unbeaten Puerto Rican Alberto Candelaria (3-0-1) in a six-round contest.
“Training has been great. I’m ready. I feel six rounds for my pro debut suits me. I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get my career started,” Nevin said. “I really just wanna get in the ring and show what I can do, It’s a great day, St. Patrick’s in Boston, a great city for the Irish.
The more rounds the better it is for me. The longer it goes the better I am. I don’t know anything about my opponent, just he’s unbeaten and I expect him to be confident. Once I perform to my best, I believe no one in the world can beat me. So I’m just looking for a good performance and making all the Irish fans happy.”
Nevin’s longtime amateur trainer, Brian McKeown, has made the shift to the pro ranks with him. The pair have worked together back home in Mullingar, Ireland and in Philadelphia, Nevin’s home base stateside.
“John Joe has been boxing the best in the world for the last several years and he is well capable of looking after himself in any company,” said McKeown. “At this stage in his debut it’s more important that he performs, that he impresses. This is his first fight in the states, his first fight on American television, the first fight in his career. I think the crowd will love him, particularly the Irish”
This unique Fox Sports Network event is being promoted by Golden Boy and Murphys’ Boxing, the fight arm of the immensely popular, Boston based, Irish punk band “The Dropkick Murphys”. Nevin expects a fantastic atmosphere;
“I was there in Philly, when the “Dropkicks” did a show with our team, ‘GreenBlood’, last October. It was unreal, the music, the fights. Lots of excitement. That’s what the Irish fans love,” Nevin said. “I think it will be a brilliant night in Boston. I know people back home will be watching on BoxNation as well.”
Nevin was rated number one in the world amateur ratings before turning professional, building an amateur record of 235 victories against just 15 defeats. His team are fully confident.
“We’re excited about the opportunity and very much appreciate Murphys’ Boxing and Ken Casey, as well as Golden Boy for giving John Joe the chance to show his skills on such a great, unique stage for the Irish,” Nevin’s manager Tom Moran said. “We hope and believe this is the start of something special for Irish boxing. I think boxing fans will love John Joe.”