More than half of Ireland's 23 Olympic medals have been won in the boxing ring. Better make that 24.
We don't know yet whether bantamweight John Joe Nevin will get gold, silver or bronze. But courtesy of his 19-13 quarterfinal win Sunday night versus Oscar Valdez of Mexico, he's certain to win Ireland's first medal of the London games — a fact that sent London's sweat-infused, pint-to-chest Irish House into a beer-spilling frenzy of hopping humanity.
"You'll never beat the Irish!" many in the crowd inside Ireland's official London Olympic venue chanted in the main bar and on the rooftop terrace after Nevin's victory was announced. Things were less insane in the basement, which has been decorated with 1950s wallpaper and comfy chairs to look like the living room set of cult 1990s Irish priest sitcom "Father Ted."
Irish fans screamed at the three big-screen TVs in the main bar as Nevin, ahead in the points, was floored by a solid Valdez blow to the ribs in the third, final round. Much of what was said at that moment cannot be reprinted in a family publication. Nevin scrambled to his feet to rural Irish-accented encouragement of "C'mon, ye boy ye!"
— Shawn Pogatchnik — Twitter http://twitter.com/ShawnPogatchnik
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.
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