Nevin decides to stay amateur after signing with British WSB franchise

Friday, 09 November 2012
By Tom Degun

John Joe NevinNovember 9 - Irish bantamweight boxer John Joe Nevin has decided not to turn professional after signing with Britain's new World Series of Boxing (WSB) franchise – the British Lionhearts – earlier this week.

The 23-year-old from County Westmeath looked set to turn professional with Super Fight Promotions, the newly formed company run by former light welterweight world champion and Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan.

The move came after he was involved in one of the best fights of the London 2012 boxing competition where he faced British rival Luke Campbell in a thrilling gold medal match at ExCeL and was narrowly beaten 14-11.

But despite indicating that he would sign a professional contract with Super Fight Promotions, Nevin pulled out of the deal and will stay amateur in the WSB – the competition owned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) which allows fighters to box professionally but retain their Olympic eligibility.

Nevin is one of the British Lionhearts' overseas boxers and is likely to be one of the main attractions in season three of the competition, which gets underway next week.

John Joe Nevin is one of the highest paid amateur boxers in the worldJohn Joe Nevin is one of the highest paid amateur boxers in the world

Nevin decided to stay amateur following a €60,000 (£49,000/$78,000) a year offer from the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) through to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

This is coupled with an additional contract from the British Lionhearts, making Nevin one of the highest paid amateur boxers in the world.

His decision came following discussions with his coach Brian McKeown, who advised him to stay amateur.

"I have been strongly advising him to stay amateur, but I wouldn't try impact on his decision one way or the other," said McKeown, before Nevin made a final decision.

"I'm fully in support of him staying amateur and if you were to ask me right now what John Joe Nevin is going to do, I would say that he is going to stay amateur."

Securing Nevin in the WSB is something that will delight AIBA as it marks a huge boost in their long-term plans to stop top Olympic boxers turning professional.

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