Malignaggi backs John Joe Nevin to become a World champion

TRICKY customer John Joe Nevin got the ‘Magic Man’s’ blessing after impressing in his pro debut on St Patrick’s Day.

Two weight World champion Paulie Malignaggi was ringside at the House of Blues Boston, as the ‘Mullingar Shuffler’  defeated Puerto Rico’s Alberto Candelaria 59-55 in a six round debut and the Italian American was suitably impressed.

Indeed Malignaggi told the Olympic silver medal winner he has the tools to go a be a world champion.

“Paulie winked at me, said that I would be a future world champion. That means a lot to me coming from him,” said Nevin after the bout before commenting on the reception received in Boston.

“The reception was unbelievable, lads from towns close to my town calling out the names of their towns. In many ways there was more pressure on this than there was in the Olympic final. This was the start of my professional career and I was expected to win.

“I had the ‘flu for the last few weeks and I still put in that performance, I have the tools to be a world champion.

“It means so much for me to win on St Patrick’s Day in my first professional fight. Onwards and upwards from here.”

Malignaggi and the large Irish contingent were not the only ones to be left impressed by Nevin after Monday night. The former Irish amateur stand out’s first paid opponent also heaped praise on the 24 year old post fight.

“Fair play to him, not many boxers from Ireland or the UK would take shots like that. I hit him with everything, kitchen sink, but he just wouldn’t go down,” Candelaria  said.

“He was never going down, no matter what I hit him with, but that will stand to me. I’m delighted with my performance and hats off to him, he came to fight.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years