Published Monday, 06 August 2012
John Joe Nevin celebrates his victory over Oscar Valdez Fierro. (© Getty)
The Mullingar man survived a final round knockdown to see off his aggressive opponent 19-13.
He has now booked a semi-final clash against Cuba's top seed Alvaro Estrada on Friday with a place in the Olympic final at stake.
Nevin dedicated his win to his cousin David, who died in February at the age of 25.
He said: "He was meant to be here and I'd like to thank him. He always told me I was the best in the world.
"He inspired me to get into boxing."
Nevin started the fight on the back-foot but the pair were locked at 5-5 after the first.
The Mexican started the second well and Nevin struggled to regain his pose as his opponent began relying on heavy right hands.
But the Mullingar man's excellent movement blocked the majority of shots and his more patient approach saw him edge into a three point lead.
After being dropped and clearly winded by a left hook to the body, Nevin was forced to cling on to see the bout out.
But the judges rewarded his cleaner work and a clearly emotional Nevin celebrated in style.
He added: "I got back from Beijing and hung on for four more years when some lads wanted me to go professional.
"I'd trade the two bronzes I've got for an Olympic medal. Hopefully I can turn it into a different colour now."