IT’S more than seven years since John Joe Nevin lost to Luke Campbell in the final of the London Olympics. Campbell has collected a string of belts and challenged twice for world honours. The Irishman is still fighting journeymen.
Events outside the ring have contributed to the fact that his eight-threes against Seaham’s Jordan Ellison was only the 13th bout in a pro career split between the US and the British Isles. And he won at a canter, referee Martin Williams scoring 80-73 in his favour.
Yet he rarely troubled the North-Easterner. Somewhat one-paced, the man from Mullingar seemed content to launch sporadic assaults without ever committing himself entirely to the task against an opponent who has been stopped five times. Now aligned with promoter Mark Prior, it is to be hoped he will be busier in future, but trainer Jim McDonnell needs to kindle a spark within if John Joe is ever to match his amateur achievements.
The rest of the Vale Sports Arena card brought straightforward wins for Welsh prospects.
Over six-threes, there were 60-54 verdicts from Reece Carter (judging for triallist ref Chris Jones) for local J.J. Evans and Rhoose’s Lance Cooksey against Nicaraguans Geiboord Omier and Edwin Tellez respectively, while Mr Carter, flying solo, came up with the same margin for Tonypandy’s talented Rhys Edwards over another Central American, Jose Aguilar.
The other six-rounders saw tall Cardiffian Maredudd Thomas dominate Lee Hallett, Mr Williams’s 59-55 card giving the Londoner the only round taken by a visitor.
In four-threes, Newport’s Craig Woodruff dropped a fourth Nicaraguan, Lester Cantillano, in the third to earn a 40-35 tally from Mr Carter, while Rhoose newcomer Jay Munn saw off Blackwood’s winless Paul Ducie – on his first appearance on home soil – 40-36 for Mr Williams.
The Verdict All very predictable, but the punters enjoyed it.