An Irish Olympian’s American professional boxing dream is in danger after he had his leg broken in a traveller feud.
Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin was operated on after a vicious assault with a golf club outside a relative’s house in the Westmeath town of Mullingar.
Nevin made his professional debut when he won in Boston on St Patrick’s Day but some pundits fear he may not fight again this year after suffering a double fracture.
A man, who was arrested then released in connection with the assault, and a woman were also treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the row.
Locals in Mullingar now fear escalation of the feud amongst members of the travelling community after the assault which left Nevin badly beaten.
The Sunday World reports that the injuries which left London medallist Nevin hospitalised were inflicted by a relative.
The paper says the incident is believed to be linked to an internal row within his extended family and reports that Nevin and his brother Paddy were outside a relative’s house when a row broke out.
The paper reports that a golf club and screwdriver are understood to have been used in the course of the incident and the boxer was hit on the legs with the golf club.
The Sunday World adds that the wife of Nevin’s cousin was stabbed with a screwdriver.
Nevin’s US based manager Tom Moran has released a statement outlining the extent of the injuries suffered by his boxer but claimed that Nevin will be bang in the ring before Christmas.
The statement said: “John Joe Nevin is gutted that his pro career has been slowed by the attack but vows to come back stronger in the autumn.
“Doctors have told John Joe Nevin he would be out for two or three months before he could start rehabilitation on the leg, which was broken in two places.
“Our schedule has been thrown off by a few months but hopefully we’ll have John Joe back working hard by mid-summer and have him fighting again Stateside in September.”