John Joe Nevin put Irish sport on the medals table on Day 9
of the 30th Olympiad in London.
The Cavan BC bantamweight beat Mexico's Oscar Valdez-Fierro
19-13 in a thrilling 56kg quarter-final tonight to
guarantee at least a bronze medal.
The win secured Ireland's first medal in all sports at London
It also secures a 13th Olympic medal for Irish boxing since
Belfast's John McNally won silver - also at bantamweight - at the
1952 Games in Helsinki
Nevin, a two-time AIBA World medalist, will now meet Cuba's
Lazaro Estrada-Alvarez, the current AIBA World champion, in the
semi-finals on August 10th.
Estrada-Alvarez ousted (16-11) Robenilson De Jesus Viera of
Brazil in tonight's corresponding quarter-final.
Mullingar-native Nevin, 23, implemented Billy Walsh's and Zuar
Antia's game plan to the letter this evening to record a
Valdez-Fierro, a constant ball of aggression rolling forward -
his tactics could be best described not so much as a Mexican wave
as a Mexican tsunami - was expected to take the fight to Nevin for
the entire nine minutes.
And that's exactly what the 2008 AIBA World Youth champion did,
particularly in the final minute of a frenetic third and
Nevin found his range early in the first, and while
Valdez-Fierro was doing some good work on the inside, it appeared
to be Nevin's round, but, surprisingly, it was scored 5-5 at
However, Nevin used his superior technique to open up a
three point advantage by the end of the second, one left straight
down the middle being the pick of the punches from the
It all came down to the third round. Fierro-Valdez came out of
his corner with all guns blazing.
Nevin weathered the early storm and appeared to be coasting to
victory, but he then took a count after a big left to the body
on the ropes.
That was all the encouragement that the Mexican needed and he
began chasing Nevin down inside the final minute
However, the Irish Elite champion, who is coached by Brian
McKeown at the Cavan BC, recovered sufficiently from the
mandatory count and showed his class and heart to seal a
wonderful victory going down the final stretch.
Nevin collapsed into the arms of Billy Walsh and Zuar Antia at
the final bell. Job done and Ireland's fourth medal from the last
two Olympics in the bag.
Next up for the two-time AIBA World medalist and 2012 Olympic
medalist is Estrada-Alvarez.
It promises to be a battle Royale between two of the most
stylist and talented bantamweights in the world.