Nevin opposes familiar foe

Sat, Aug 11, 2012, 01:00

Olympics:Britain’s Luke Campbell and Ireland’s John Joe Nevin will resume one of the most intense and engrossing rivalries in amateur boxing today when they fight for Olympic bantamweight gold at ExCel arena.

The pair swept through their respective semi-finals to set up a showdown that had seemed likely since the 56kg draw was made, and both men know they face a mighty task to reach the top of the podium.

Nevin won their first bout at the European Union Championships in Copenhagen in 2009 by some distance, but Campbell claimed revenge when he edged the verdict on countback in last year’s World Championship semi-final.

Campbell said: “I’ve got family in Ireland who know Nevin’s family. We all know he’s great fighter, and he’s always been one of my major threats. I expected this final before the tournament, and it’s all about me getting it right in the ring.”

Campbell saw off Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu 20-11 in their semi-final to set up the meeting with Nevin, who produced one of the best performances of his career to beat Cuba’s reigning world champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada 19-14.

Nevin said: “We’ve had two fights before. We’ll say one of them was tight, and one of them I beat him handy. I’ll go out smiling and enjoy the whole thing. That’s my attitude. It’s brought me all the way to the final and hopefully it can take me one step further.”

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