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GOING PRO: McCormack aims for professional boxing after winning silver

GOING PRO: McCormack aims for professional boxing after winning silver

PA Adam Davy

Birtley boxer Pat McCormack has set his sights on turning professional after being beaten in the men’s welterweight final by Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias at Tokyo 2020.

McCormack, the top seed at 69kg who advanced to the Olympic gold medal match after Irish opponent Aidan Walsh withdrew from their semi-final because of a freak ankle injury, lost on all five of the judges’ scorecards.

There was no lack of endeavour from McCormack but his opponent’s outstanding footwork helped him control the distance while his rapid hand speed from a southpaw stance caught the Briton off guard on several occasions.

McCormack was satisfied with winning silver – one of six medals guaranteed for Team GB’s boxers at these Games, equalling their best-ever overseas haul – but he has signalled his intention to leave the amateur ranks behind.

“I was just up against a tough fighter from Cuba, a double Olympic champion,” the 26-year-old said.

“I thought I won the first round and he just edged the second two. I’ve got no complaints, I lost to a very, very good fighter. It is what it is, I’m ready for the pro ranks now.

“It’s been a long time coming, obviously with the lockdown and everything, it got pushed back a year. I was hoping to be professional now but I’m an Olympic silver medallist, it’s a good platform to turn professional. I’m just ready for the pros.”

McCormack had his moments but was perhaps a touch fortunate to avoid a knockdown being called in the second round after he was caught flush by a left hook, with referee Tunisian referee Hichem Menchaoui ruling a slip.

His opponent was the busier fighter and McCormack acknowledged getting a bye into the showpiece – he did so because Walsh injured an ankle jumping up and down celebrating his quarter-final win – might have left him a touch rusty.

“I could have done with boxing,” McCormack added. “I haven’t done anything for four days, apart from a little bit of shadow boxing and a little bit of pads.

“I could have done with a fight to get my eye in, but it is what it is, he’s injured. I’ve got a silver medal and I’m going to go home happy.”

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