European Championship boxing: Washington's Luke McCormack reaches final

Luke McCormack has his hand raised by referee Maria Rizzardo after his brilliant win
Luke McCormack has his hand raised by referee Maria Rizzardo after his brilliant win
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Luke McCormack is through to the final of the European Championship after a brilliant victory over Lithuania’s Evaldas Petrauskas.

The 22-year-old has been in the form of his boxing life all week and reeled off an incredible fourth win in Kharkiv against the number four seed to reach Saturday's U64 kilo final.

McCormack clinched a split points victory at the Lokomotyv Sports Palace by four judges to one.

The Ukraine judge scored all three rounds to Petrauskas but with the German and Moroccan judges doing like wise for Luke with Cuba and Turkey marking it 29-28 to McCormack.

His twin brother Pat will look to join him in the finals tomorrow at U69 kilo by beating Ievgenii Barabanov in his semi-final in the second session today.

If Pat takes a leaf out of his brother's book he will have every chance against the Ukraine boxer.

Luke deserved his passage to the light-welterweight final after producing the better boxing against the Baltic fighter who had lost to Pat at the same stage of the 2015 semis.

The Birtley boxer had the superior height and reach over Petrauskas and used the advantage nicely following his jab with a couple of good long rights.

Petrauskas, built like a pocket battleship, looked to unload his short left hooks but even after he did get through, McCormack jolted him with a right to the head.

To the credit of Petrauskas, he cut the space down at the start of round two and applied the early pressure, but after short bursts he seemed to tire, allowing Luke to string some quality shots together.

McCormack used both gloves smartly, with no better example that a four-punch volley to Evaldas's head in the last 10 seconds of the round.

The final round followed a similar pattern, with Petrauskas looking to press but McCormack used his skill cleverly, even making the Lithuanian miss with a wild swing.

Petrauskas again looked tired, but Luke looked composed and classy and outboxed him to finish the intriguing contest on top.

Both boxers had their hands at the ready to celebrate victory, but McCormack took the win 4-1 to set up a final with Armenia's Hovhannes Bachkov.