Young fighters need to be nurtured rather than thrown in the deep end.
For Portlaoise middleweight Michael Nevin, his first year as an adult boxer was always planned to be quiet and tonight he has the start of a journey that he hopes ends with an Elite Senior title next February.
Nevin was not entered into this years tournament – and, even if he had planned to, a hand injury sustained a month prior during the National U22 Championships would have ruled him out.
The triple European gold medalist had one fight in the Under-22s, beating Rhys Moran in the quarters before having to withdraw, as well as a regional international versus Poland.
After a summer spent recovering and building, 19 year old Nevin has certainly filled out into the 75kg class, having moved up from welter last year.
Tonight the World Youth bronze medalist represents Ireland in an Elite International in Kielce against Polish champ Bartosz Gołębiewski.
The reserved Nevin is confident leading into a busy end to the year and he feels ready now for the top level.
“I’ve been training hard, training has gone really well,” he told Irish-Boxing.com.
“In the last year I’ve developed very well. I’m getting lots of good sparring.”
“I’m getting a lot stronger at 75kg and I’ll be well able for all the Senior boxers.”
A winning machine, even now Nevin’s focus and goal is clear – becoming number one.
“My goal is the Senior Championships next year,” he stated, “to win them and be the best that I can be.”
“I just have to go out there and prove it. I’ll keep my feet on the ground, keep training, and go out there and just win.”
Irish Squad v Poland
49kg Daryl Moran (Illies GG) v Jakub Słomiński (Poland)
52kg Thomas McCarthy (Mayfield BC) v Maciej Jóźwik (Poland)
56kg Tom Casey (St Francis) v Tomasz Resól (Poland)
60kg Gerard McCaffery (St Paul’s Antrim) v Adrian Kowal (Poland)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) v Łukasz Niemczyk (Poland)
69kg Dean Walsh (St Ibars) v Kamil Holka (Poland)
75kg John Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) v Daniel Adamaiec (Poland)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) v Bartosz Gołębiewski (Poland)
81kg Tony Brown (St Michael’s,Dublin) v Arkadiusz Szwedowicz (Poland)
91kg+ Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) v Aleksander Stawirej (Poland)
Team Manager: Tony Davis (Ardagh Cross)
Coaches: Damien McKenna (Holy Family), Eamonn Duffy (Illies GG), Donal Walsh (St Ibars)
R&J: Jimmy Sweeney (Olympic)