John Joe Nevin lost out in his bid for Olympic gold versus Great Britain’s Luke Campbell at the ExCel in London.
The Hull bantamweight was awarded a 14-11 decision from a cracking three rounds of boxing.
Campbell took the first 5-3, Nevin responding well with two combos near the end of a frame in which Campbell took maximum advantage of his longer reach to build up his advantage.
Nevin had a fine second round and reduced the deficit to one point. The Mullingar man took a left in the face in the opening exchanges, but fired home a great right off the back foot and found the target with a superb right on the bell.
Nevin probably equalised in opening 20 seconds of the third with a right and probably edged ahead after connecting with a sweeping left, but he was then caught off balance and dropped off a sweeping right from Campbell.
The rangy English southpaw continued to pick up points going down the final stretch, Nevin replying in kind, but at the end of an absorbing three rounds of boxing it was Campbell’s hand that was raised in victory.
Nevin, who has had a magnificent tournament in London, said that he was heart broken to lose but happy with his silver medal from tonight’s 56kg Olympic final.
“I’d have taken a bronze medal coming here but when I got so far I wanted to go the whole way, said the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.
“I’m heart broken now. I wanted to join the club with Katie Taylor and Michael Carruth, but if it’s not meant to be it’s not meant to be. Luke is a tremendous boxer, a tremendous boxer, I can take nothing away from him.
“I don’t think I performed the best on my day. I’m happy with the silver medal,” added the two-time AIBA World medalist.
Nevin, who represented Ireland at the 2008 Olympics, won four contests at the 30th Olympiad. The Cavan BC bantamweight was the first Irish boxer into the ring at London 2012 and the last out.
Irish boxing will be taking home one gold, one silver and two bronze medals and the Best Female Boxer of the Games Award from the 2012 Olympics.
Nevin was presented with his silver medal this evening. Earlier tonight, Paddy Barnes, the first Irish boxer to win two Olympic medals, was presented with his bronze medal in the light-flyweight class.
“John Joe fought his heart out and the whole team are proud of him”, said Barnes.
Pat Hickey, the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, presented both Irish boxers with their medals. Irish boxing has now won 16 Olympic medals since the great John McNally won silver in 1952.