by Kevin Byrne (follow on Twitter @kevoobyrne)
Pics by: Photo’s By Ricardo
JOHN JOE NEVIN has revealed the best advice he has got from professional idol Bernard Dunne: Beware the crooks!
The Mullingar Shuffler makes his paid debut in Boston tonight against Alberto Candelaria.
Nevin, 24, is chomping at the bit to get going, having signed for GreenBlood Boxing and Berkeley Sports and Media late last year.
But he has asked pals Dunne, and Cavan BC team-mate Andy Murray, about the pitfalls of the pro game.
Dunne began his pro career in the USA in 2001. He returned to Ireland in 2005 at 14-0 and went on to win the European and WBA world super-bantamweight titles.
Murray won 25 bouts between 2005 and 2012, losing just once when he went for the Euro lightweight crown in 2011.
London 2012 silver medallist Nevin told SunSport: “Andy Murray has given me a bit of advice. Before I went I was talking to Bernard Dunne, they all were letting me know what it’s all about.”
And what did they say?
Nevin added: “Watch out for the crooks in the business! It’s really good advice. It’s just about getting in the ring and performing. Leave the business in my manager’s hands.”
That man is Tom Moran, an Irish-American entrusted with this country’s brightest talent.
GreenBlood have also signed Belfast duo Ray Ginley and Tyrone McKenna, while heavyweight Tommy McCarthy is understood to be having second thoughts about turning pro.
None of these are fighting on tonight’s card, though.
Nevin is joined by Dubliner Jamie Kavanagh, 23, who boxes Andrea Navarro on the bill, which will be shown on BoxNation from 2am.
With his debut so close, Nevin is understandably excited – having not had a meaningful fight since he scooped gold at last June’s European Championships.
He said: “It’s like starting over. I remember when I was starting off in my career, I was always delighted and looking forward to getting in the ring.
“It’s like starting over as a young kid again and going in to show everyone what you’ve got.”
The card is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy, who are expected to be in the mix to sign Nevin down the road.
But he is reluctant to tie himself down for now.
Instead, the plan is to blow away a few opponents in order to add some more zeroes to his cheque.
He said: “I’m happy to be independent at the minute.
“But I have a few offers there. I’m just going to stick with my manager and what he’s saying. Eventually we’ll get the right deal off them.
“With three or four fights under your belt, those contracts will increase by a lot more.”
Expect him to get there, by hook or by crook.
This is Nevin’s first trip to Boston – it will not be his last.
Unbeaten opponent Candelaria…
You always have to be careful. It’s not like you’re boxing novices these days. I know they’re journeymen but they’re experienced lads. Hopefully I can make the difference in the ring now and show what I have.
His new weight division…
I’m going to box at super-featherweight because I boxed at lightweight in the WSB against some of the best in the world and performed really well. So why not box at super-featherweight? It’s an extra kilo, that’s all. The extra weight will suit me.
His new style…
I sit down on my punches a bit more. I’m not worrying about getting caught with these silly shots, or having to chase the opponent, or walk him down for three rounds. I’m trying to sit down on my punches and start letting go, because I can bang.
A hectic 2014…
The plan is still what we said. Nine or 10. It’s gonna fly in. I’m gonna have one in April as well, one in May and in June. It could be one every month nearly. I’ll be very busy but I’ll get a couple of months off then around the summer, and back in again towards the end of the year for another four or five.