Teen boxer fears for next fight after being punched by adult Russian coach

Mary Kate Nevin
Mary Kate Nevin

A TALENTED young boxer who was punched by an adult Russian coach has told how she’s afraid to go another foreign tournament in case she meets her attacker again.

Mary Kate Nevin, who has been compared to Katie Taylor and is tipped at odds of 2/1 to win an Olympic medal in her life despite being just 15, was punched by a Russian coach in her team hotel following a tournament in Germany last weekend.

The Mullingar, Co Westmeathm, girl had been going down to a pal’s room to pick up a bottle of Coke when the Russian coach came into the corridor and attacked because her and her pals were talking in the corridor.

Mary Kate, who is a cousin of Olympic medal-winner John Joe Nevin, told the Sunday World that the attack has had a devastating effect on her and she is now fearful she’ll meet her attacker again.

“The next tournament abroad is in Sweden in February but I don’t know if I’m going to go there in case I meet him there and he does the same thing again. I’m going to be terrified going away again. No one has told me if he’s been kicked out of the team or if he’s still involved.”

She explained how she had gone to a pal’s room to pick up a bottle of Coke and was talking in the corridor when the Russian coach came out to tell them to be quiet.

 “I said we weren’t being loud and we’re going asleep in a few minutes. Then he went back into his room and then came back out again.

“He came over and hit me and I fell. One of my cousins picked me up. I couldn’t really see and everything went black. It was a very strong punch. He was very tall.”

She said the punch gave her a terrible fright.

Mary Kate at home with mum Mary and her sisters

“I couldn’t sleep after it. I’m afraid to meet the likes of him again. The police were called that night. They came in and looked and me and were talking to the IABA but he wasn’t arrested,” said Mary Kate.

“I don’t know what happened afterwards. No one has contacted me to tell me what happened since.

“It’s a worry that I’ll meet him again. I’ll never get over it. I can take punches but I shouldn’t have to take a punch like that.”

The talented teen’s father said the attack had a devastating effect on the young boxer.

“It’s not the injury to her eye worrying me, it’s what effect it will have on her down the line.

“She’s very strong but you can see it in her, she’s changed. She has no interest in boxing since she came back. Usually she’d train six or seven nights a week. She’s unbelievably dedicated to it. That’s why she’s so talented.”

He added that he was disappointed with the IABA’s response to the attack.

“I’ve been phoning and leaving messages but no one is getting back to me. They seem to just want to let this lie down. They don’t have any answers for what happened.

“My Mary Kate hasn’t been the same since and probably never will be. It’s not the black eye she received, she can get that in any tournament.

“It’s how she got it and where she got it. No one in the IABA is ringing up and asking how Mary Kate is or telling us what’s happening. It’s just as if it never happened.”

She’s very shook up. She’s afraid to leave the house because of this. She has a very bright future ahead of her in boxing.

Patrick added that since he’s getting worried about Mary Kate every time she goes out. 

“She went over to the chemist yesterday to get something for her eye and I didn’t know she had gone out. I drove down the town like a lunatic looking for her, thinking something was going to happen to her. That’s the way I’m gone now. When I found her she was said I was only over in the chemist.

“It’s quite frightening what happened. But what makes it worse is these fellas in Dublin over it should be doing more.”