BRITISH welterweight Pat McCormack came away from the World championships in Russia with a silver medal, once his final with Andrei Zamkovoi came to an abrupt end after a head butt cut the Englishman in the second round.
Both boxers came into their final on Saturday (September 21) at the Expo Arena in Ekaterinburg in good form. Zamkovoi is an experienced southpaw, a veteran who won a bronze medal for Russia at the 2012 Olympic Games as well as a silver medal at the 2009 World championships. McCormack, just 24 years old to the Russian’s 32, is the reigning Commonwealth and European Games gold medallist.
They started out jabbing, each looking to establish their lead hands. McCormack threw a quick, straight one-two combination. Zamkovoi’s hefty left cross knocked the gumshield out of McCormack’s mouth. He went for the Briton with a right-left combination. McCormack moved back in, countering with a one-two of his own. Pat found a path for his right looping over the top. Zamkovoi hit his back hand in and scooped his right up.
There was a dangerous edge to the Russian’s work but McCormack was settling into the contest, taking his measure. With his guard high, moving well on his feet, his jab set up a cross shooting to body. Pat was boxing with good shape to his work. But Zamkovoi crashed forward. Swinging for McCormack he ducked in head first. Colliding with McCormack, the butt opened a nasty cut over his left eye. The blood leaking into his eye was a problem and eventually the referee stopped him, meaning the bout had go to the cards. A split decision went to Zamkovoi but there had been little in the contest.
“It’s been a good week for me and the team but I am gutted with how it ended. I felt like I was starting to get on top and that he was beginning to get tired, but the clash of heads put a stop to it. It’s just one of those things that happens sometimes in boxing,” McCormack reflected. “I am proud of my silver medal and how I have boxed this week. Not many people from Britain have been to a World final, so I am pleased to have got this far, it’s just a shame about the result.
“It is all about Tokyo now and, after this last couple of weeks, I feel that me and the rest of the team are in good shape and can be confident as we look forwards to the Olympics next year.”
McCormack’s GB team-mates Ben Whittaker and Peter McGrail both secured bronze medals at these World championships, while Frazer Clarke was controversially denied a place in the semi-finals.