October 21 – Irish bantamweight boxer John Joe Nevin could remain amateur despite his original plans to move to the professional ranks after winning an Olympic silver medal at London 2012.
The 23-year-old (pictured above) from County Westmeath suggested earlier this month that he would 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 it is understood that the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) is confident of keeping the star amateur with a €60,000 (£49,000/$78,000) a year offer that would see him through to the Rio 2016 Olympics – which would be his third consecutive Games.
"I have been strongly advising him to stay amateur, but I wouldn't try impact on his decision one way or the other," said his coach Brian McKeown
"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.
"He hasn't signed anything with Amir Khan.
"The Khans came up with an attractive offer and at that stage he was committed to going with them.
"I sat down and told him as brutally and as coldly as I could to think seriously about it.
"The Sports Council and the IABA came back to him with a good offer.
"All things considered — regardless of your signing-on fee which is only for a year, your grant is for four."
IABA President Tommy Murphy also admitted he is hopeful of keeping the Olympic star.
"There's a lot of talk that he won't be going pro, but we don't know at the moment," he said.
Key to the deal to keep Nevin amateur is the new International Boxing Association (AIBA) boxing competition AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), which will launch next year and allow fighters to compete professionally but retain their Olympic eligibility.
Nevin is lined up to be one of the big stars of the launch, having headlined in AIBA's World Series of Boxing (WSB) in the last two years, when he boxed for Paris United, helping the team to victory in the inaugural season of the event.
Should he remain amateur, the move would delight AIBA and be a huge boost in their long-term plans to stop top Olympic boxers turning professional.
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