John Joe Nevin’s absence from training camp hints at decision to turn pro
Speculation grows about future of current world number one amateur bantamweight
Ireland’s John Joe Nevin with his gold medal at the European Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland’s Olympic silver medallist and current European Champion John Joe Nevin has not reported for Ireland’s Pre-World Championship training camp in Mayo. Currently ranked number one amateur bantamweight in the world Nevin’s no-show for the final days of training arrives amidst reports that he is about to turn professional.
When Nevin was contacted yesterday and asked if he is turning professional he said “no comment.” When asked if it was correct to say he is turning professional he said “incorrect.” Other reports yesterday have Nevin saying that it is “likely” that he will turn professional.
The Irish team, which includes double Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes, London 2012 bronze medallist Michael Conlan and European champion Jason Quigley are currently preparing in the Lough Lannagh holiday village in Castlebar, where they will remain until September 20th. From there they will travel to the World Championships in Kazakhstan, which begin on October 11th.
It is not known whether the 24-year-old Nevin will now travel to the championships. It is highly irregular that any of the Irish team would absent themselves from the last few weeks of preparation before the biggest tournament outside of the Olympic Games.
“At the moment he is considering a number of very attractive offers,”said Nevin’s regular coach Brian McKeown. “He is giving these very serious consideration and I expect a decision will be made this weekend.”
It is common knowledge that Nevin has been courted by various interested groups including the APB, which is an organisation set up by the amateur governing body to allow its members to fight professionally. However, signing with the emerging APB would have allowed him box professionally and to compete in the Olympics in 2016.
Last year Nevin announced he was turning professional with British boxer Amir Khan’s company Super Fight Promotions. That, however, fell through. Sticking with the Irish team he remained amateur and went on to win a European gold medal over the summer.
Irish coach Billy Walsh was not available for comment.