Brian McKeown, the trainer of boxer John Joe Nevin, has revealed the horrific nature of the assault on the Olympian, which left his leg broken in two places and the bone “sticking out”.

Nevin was assaulted in Mullingar on Saturday morning and faces several months out as he recovers after surgery.

Nevin, who won a silver medal at London 2012, comfortably won his debut professional fight against Puerto Rico's Albert Candalaria three weeks ago and had been set to fight a number of times this year as he looked to build on a glittering amateur career.

“As far as I am aware, it was a dispute in the extended family,” McKeown told RTÉ.

“John Joe happened to be the wrong man in the right place. He went along to mediate and try and get things settled, and then the attack took place."

The trainer would not comment on reports that a stick with nails had been used in the assault but said “with the weapons that were used, they obviously weren’t there for ornaments.”

McKeown said that Nevin had called him directly after being attacked.

“Obviously he was in a state of shock. He told me that he had been attacked and that his leg had been broken. The bone was sticking out of his leg at that stage. It was an awful happening.

McKeown said that although it was a huge blow to Nevin, he believed that the “exceptional” Westmeath man had the determination to bounce back.

“John Joe has been a fighter, he’s overcome bigger battles than this. I feel he has the character and commitment to overcome it.

“His management team agree and plans are being put in place for when he’s released from hospital, that he’ll go to America for rehabilitation.

“It is a major setback but, unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do it about now, except battle on and try to pull the lad through it and get him back into a mode where he’s fit to box again.

“It will be an uphill struggle but I have every confidence in him, I know him a long time and he is an exceptional young man."