Boxing's European Championships: Washington's Luke McCormack makes winning start

Luke McCormack (left) with twin brother Pat (centre) and Birtley ABC and GB team-mate Calum French
Luke McCormack (left) with twin brother Pat (centre) and Birtley ABC and GB team-mate Calum French
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Luke McCormack has made a winning start at the European Championships.

The Washington boxer was drawn against the Ukraine's Mger Oganisian in a preliminary bout in the light-welterweight division.

It was a tricky opener for McCormack, against a useful home fighter with an accurate left fist.

But the 22-year-old put his boxing together nicely to take victory via a split decision.

He will now face Johan Orozco Ojeda in Monday's last 16 bout after the Spaniard had a unanimous points triumph against Austria's Daniel Janicijevic.

McCormack will approach it in confident fashion after his display in his preliminary contest.

It proved an entertaining affair with Oganisan lifting the Kharkiv crowd with five eye-catching single shots with McCormack, much the taller of the U64 kilo rivals, producing the better variety.

In fact, so good was the left of the Ukrainian in the first round that the third which landed on the head of McCormack drew a nod of acknowledgement from the Birtley ABC star.

For all those moments when the crowd roared, it was the man in the blue corner, who had the better of the opening three minutes, connecting with both gloves.

McCormack was not as slick in the early exchanges of the middle session as the more compact Oganisian moved forward with a measure of success.

It meant it was all down to the final three minutes of this intriguing match.

And McCormack did not disappoint, beating his opponent to the punch before finding Organisian's chin with two upper cuts.

A left-right rocked back the head of the 23-year-old who was made to miss by the European Under 22 champion.

McCormack was in dominant form and landed right upper cuts at will as he finished the fight on top.

Twin brother Pat opens his programme at welterweight on Saturday with a preliminary bout against Lithuania's Saimonas Banys.