Michael Nevin has made the curious decision to turn over when he is just two wins away from Olympic qualification.
Boxing journalist Sean McGoldrick has reported that the Portlaoise BC fighter has joined a host of young and talented fighters in deciding to ditch the vest in recent years.
However, the timing surrounding his crossing of the boxing divide makes it an eyebrow-raising move.
The 23-year-old middleweight talent is literally two wins away from becoming an Olympian but with the qualifiers just around the corner, the European Games bronze medal winner has decided to go pro. As a result, he will not be traveling to Paris for the final qualification tournament which re-commences on Friday.
It’s a massive blow to the High-Performance Unit and Team Ireland in general. Nevin was fancied to qualify and once in Tokyo would have been a medal hope. Even worse the timing of his withdrawal from the team means a replacement can’t be sent at the weight, so Ireland won’t have a middleweight fighter in Tokyo.
Nevin is the second to pull out of the qualifiers. Super heavyweight Dean Gardiner, who was in a similar situation, retired from the sport earlier this year but the High Performance had enough time to pick a replacement and take advantage of an IOC backdoor to send a replacement – although there has been no news in that regard as of yet.
Reports suggests the move has been on the cards as the Laois fighter hasn’t been an Abbotstown regular, didn’t compete in the Standja tournametn and was absent from the recent training camp in Belfast.
There is no indication as to who the European Schoolboys, Junior, and Youth gold medal winner has signed terms with, just reporting he has become the latest former underage standout to turn over.