Irish ace John Joe Nevin scoffs at suggestions that he is being pitched into a world class assignment without the appropriate professional seasoning.
In 13 paid outings so far, the super-skilled 2012 Olympic finalist and 2013 European amateur gold medallist is yet to feature beyond eight rounds.
However, at London’s York Hall this Saturday (16 November), Nevin has been cast against Nicaragua’s seriously nasty Freddy Fonseca, a proven world grade operator who has conceded just four times in 32 starts and sent 18 opponents down before the scorecards were required.
The pair collide over 10 rounds for the WBA International Super-Featherweight Championship with the victor assured a world ranking. The salivating showdown will be screened live and exclusive in the U.K on free-to-air Channel Five.
‘I’m not remotely worried. After being told I’d never boxing again, I’m enjoying these new challenges. I’ll be walking my way to the world title!’ quipped the Mullingar traveller who was told he might never box again after both his legs were broken in an out-of-ring altercation in April 2014.
‘You have to remember all my experience from the WSB (World Series of Boxing). I had 11 bouts (9 wins) boxing for Paris United, then the London Lionhearts; without head guards, wearing eight-ounce gloves in five round fights against elite opposition with professional style scoring. They were proper, aggressive scraps. They more than compensate.
‘On November 16th, U.K fans will see the skills of a genuine contender who’s coming to hunt the world champions down. After nailing the WBA International title I’ll chase a world title straight after. I’d only be interested in the European belt and the like if it guarantees getting me closer to a world title.
‘(Reigning IBF Champion) Tevin Farmer would be my preferred choice. He’s from Philly where I was based for the start of my pro career (under promoter Tom Moran’s GreenBlood organisation). When we were on the same bill, I sold a lot more tickets than Farmer ever did. They weren’t boxing fans who attended, they were John Joe Nevin fans.
‘Farmer beat two Irish guys already, Jono Carroll and James Tennyson, so I’d like to avenge that for Irishmen everywhere. I’d willingly fight Tevin in his home town but before MY fans. He’s pretty slick too but he’s not got what I’ve got.’
But if he’s to force that grudge match, nifty, nimble Nevin knows he must cast a spell over the formidable Fonseca in London on Saturday week in what is easily the stiffest assignment of his five and a half year pro career.
‘This kid’s no journeyman. He’ll not go into hiding. He’ll really go for it,’ acknowledges the man from County Westmeath.
‘Fonseca brings this big, big left hand. He knows he can punch but I’m confident I can frustrate him then walk him onto stuff. And I hit very hard. My record shows just the four kayos but it’s very hard to knock a man out when he’s running away. It’s just about timing the right punch.
‘An impressive win will stick me into the world top 15 and then I’ll not be too far away.’
Promoted by Mick Hennessy in association with Infinitum, Channel 5 and Priority Promotions, Dilmaghani v Fonseca will be televised exclusively live in the UK on free-to-air Channel 5 and 5Spike.
Headline attraction on the card features Alex Dilmaghani versus Francisco Fonseca for the Vacant IBO Super-Featherweight Championship. Chief support sees an exciting clash between Irish star John Joe Nevin v Freddy Fonseca for the WBA International Super-Featherweight Championship. A packed and top quality undercard also features: Fast rising Sevenoaks middleweight talent Michael Hennessy Jnr; Stockwell welterweight Samuel Antwi; Welsh super-featherweight Rhys Edwards; Chelsea Lightweight Connor Marsden; two London based Romanians: super-welterweight Flavius Biea and heavyweight Lucian Atani; Basildon super-lightweight Lewis Smith; Islington middleweight Billy Underwood; Luton super-lightweight Jahid Munim and Islington featherweight Alizara Ghadiri.
Tickets are available from MyFightTickets: https://myfighttickets.com/shop-1?olsPage=products%2Fhennessy-york-hall