Mullingar Olympic silver medallist-turned pro boxer John Joe Nevin will go in search of his first title as a professional on March 24 in Philadelphia when he fights for the Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) title against the unbeatean Puerto Rican Luis ‘Popeye’ Lebron.
Nevin's coach and mentor Brian McKeown is expected, family committments allowing, to team up this weekend with Nevin who has already been based at a training camp in the US for several weeks and he has highlighted the importance of this contest in the troubled career of one of Ireland's most talented boxers.
While the UBF title, like many of the other alphabet titles in circulation, means little to real boxing fans, the Nevin/Lebron fight certainly does not need this trinket to sell it.
The fact is that a pair of unbeaten prospects, Nevin 8-0 and Lebron 6-0-1, can headline a show in a 7,500 Arena in Philadelphia with an unbeaten and world-rated local fighter in light welter Ray Robinson (22-0-2) the chief supporting contests tells it all.
This is a tough call in the stop-start career of Nevin and with a promotional deal with a top British organisation and the emerging featherweight pro scene here in Ireland providing the backdrop, the Mullingar native could soon be topping bills here at home.