Boxing Olympic Qualifier: Pat McCormack through to last 16 in Baku

Pat McCormack.

Pat McCormack.

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Pat McCormack has joined fellow Wearsider Josh Kelly in the last 16 of the World Olympic Qualifier in Azerbaijan.

McCormack outpointed Thulasi Tharumalingam in the last 32 of the light-welterweight division this evening in Baku.

The dominant Washington boxer won all three rounds against the Qatar fighter and will now tackle Georgia’s Lasha Guruli on Tuesday night.

It was just the start McCormack needed to the competition as he looks to seal a place in Rio.

The 20-year-old is ranked as one of the best U64 kilo talents on the planet, having had a superb run in the World Series of Boxing, helping GB Lionhearts reach the final.

But he fluffed his lines in the European Olympic Qualifier in April, suffering a shock quarter-final exit to Hovhannes Bachkov, from Armenia.

That has put the pressure on going into this tournament in Baku where McCormack needs to finish in the top five to reach the Olympics.

Victory today over Tharumalingam sets the Birtley ABC boxer on his way and he is now just two wins away from the Olympic Games.

McCormack’s last 16 contest takes place on Tuesday evening with Kelly facing Estonia’s Kaupo Arro on Monday night at welterweight.