‘I’ll show him he is a bum not tell him’ – John Joe Nevin happy to fight Jono Carroll despite switch in fortunes

John Joe Nevin [14(4)-0] suggests he’d prefer to show Jono Carroll [18(4)-2(0)-1] he is a ‘bum’ rather than call him one now that the ‘shoe is on the other foot’.

The London 2012 Olympian, who is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s amateur finest, has long since been desperate for a big professional fight, but is struggling to find a willing opponent.

‘The Mullingar Shuffler’ believed a late ranking title win in 2019 would balance things up on the risk reward scales, but still couldn’t secure a fight in 2020.

The frustrated West Meath man did go the call out route and called for a host of names to fight him over the course of last year. From all the names dropped Jono Carroll’s bounced the loudest and the pair shared a back and forth that caused quite a stir.

There was definitely interest in the fight, but having just defeated former world champion Scott Quigg, the Dub was looking up rather than down the ladder – he made it clear he felt Nevin brought nothing of value to the table.

Now having suffered surprise defeat to Maxi Hughes, ‘King Kong’ may face a mini rebuild, while Nevin has world rankings with two governing bodies.

When speaking to BoxingBants, he revealed if Carroll was to now look for a fight with him, it would get made.

“I would fight anyone. I would refuse no one. If I start saying ‘this guy is ranked 39 in the world so I am not fighting him,’ that’s me using excuses. I would never use excuses. If a guy is calling me out and he is a bum I’ll show him he is a bum not tell him. I won’t be like others it comes back to bite you,” he said enjoying landing some verbal blows.

“Maxi the Taxi man, as I call him, can cut down the taxi hours now. I thought Jono would have beaten him, but he got the tactics wrong. He is a McGregor want to be, there are some guys out there that want to be McGregor, but they are just shit.

“The shoe is on the other foot now I have the rankings and he has nothing. I have mentioned Eric Donovan, a good friend of mine, Carl Frampton and young James Tennyson, they didn’t get all upset when I called for them. Jono bit and didn’t try to get it made.

“He had the promotional backing it was up to him to say ‘listen me and John Joe Nevin would sell out in Ireland, lets try and make it, we will shut John Joe Nevin up and prove he is a bum’. That’s how I would go about it.”

Throughout the interview, the 31-year-old, who has never gotten his pro career going, mentioned a desire to step up. It seems no name at super featherweight or lightweight is off limits.

“I would love to get a shot at anyone. I am not going to be in this game too long more. I want to test myself against the best,” he added.

Nevin suggests he hasn’t got big promotional backing because some fear he may still suffer ill effects of a double leg break, something which he refutes.

The Mullingar favourite is also understands why promoters don’t want to use him as an opponent.

“It’s big risk, low reward in their mind and fighting me is a big risk. They can take fighters that are not even in my league and push them. I understand they have to wrap these guys up in cotton wool, if I was promoting these lads I wouldn’t allow them fight me either.”

It’s frustrating, but seems to be the lie of the land for the former amateur standout. Nevin is accepting and reveals he will await his chance patiently.

“I have had no fight since I won the WBA [International] belt, which got me the world ranking, but I’ve been training away, biding my time for an opportunity to come.

“It hasn’t come yet, but I’m sure good things come to those who wait. I am on my game waiting away and training so when the chance comes I am ready. You have to be always on their game.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com