Irish boxing: John Joe Nevin secures first Irish medal

John Joe Nevin

Boxer John Joe Nevin has clinched Ireland's first medal of the London Olympics after winning his bantamweight quarter-final on Sunday evening.

The 23-year-old Mullingar man survived a count in the final round beat Mexico's Oscar Valdez 19-13.

Twice world bronze medallist Nevin appeared to edge the first round but it was scored at 5-5.

Nevin won the second round 7-4 and took the final round by the same margin despite having to face a count.

Valdez, who also previously won a World Championship bronze medal, hit Nevin with a fierce body punch two minutes into the final session and the Irishman had to battle to avoid further heavy shots.

Nevin will fight Cuban Lazaro Alvarez in the semi-finals of the bantamweight division on Friday.

Using his counterpunching style to good effect, the Irishman was able to pick off the Mexican for most of the fight.

Valdez came forward at every opportunity but it was only in the final minute that he began to trouble Nevin.

Nevin was an impressive winner over Kanat Abutalipov of Kazakhstan in the last 16 bout as he earned a 15-10 win.

He has improved on his result from the Beijing Olympics when he reached the last 16.

Katie Taylor will hope to guarantee another Irish boxing medal when she faces Britain's Natasha Jonas in the women's lightweight quarter-finals on Monday.

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