15 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
John Joe Nevins bid for Olympic glory ended at the last-16 stage, the teenage bantamweight suffering a 9-2 defeat at the hands of the highly-rated Bada-Uugan Enkhbat in Beijing on Friday.
Nevin fought gamely throughout and saw a number of clean hits go unrewarded but, in truth, he was comfortably outboxed by the World Championships silver medallist.
The Mullingar man, who fights out of Cavan, was clearly very wary of his Mongolian opponent’s power and went on the run in the opening round, so much so, in fact, that Enkhbat complained several times to the referee, Juan Ponce, about Nevin’s tactics.
Nevins reluctance to stay on the outside was understandable and, on one of the few occasions that he did allow himself to be drawn in, he was nailed by an overhand right. That shot proved the only scored of the round because Nevin was criminally denied a point for a left hook just seconds before the bell.
Still, it was clear that Enkhbat was the more comfortable in his gameplan and he had moved 4-1 up by the halfway stage.
Nevin actually started the third quite brightly, pressing forward to greater effect and finally letting his hands go.
However, with greater adventure comes greater risk, and he was floored after being the recipient of a crunching right hand midway through round. A clearly shaken Nevin then received a standing eight count after being caught with another powerful right.
Nevin went into the final round 7-2 down and with little hope of victory against such a classy foe. He tried valiantly to turn the fight around but Enkhbat, as he done throughout, showed the greater savvy and composure as he coasted through to the last eight.