McCormack sights on Turkey treat to clinch Olympic place

Pat McCormack
Pat McCormack
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Pat McCormack dreams of Olympic glory – and the Washington boxer heads to Turkey next week looking to clinch his place in Rio.

The 20-year-old is in the Great Britain squad who will compete at the European Continental qualification event in Samsun from April 7-18.

McCormack, twin brother of fellow GB fighter Luke, is one of the warm favourites for light-welterweight title at the tournament.

Three places are on offer in each of men’s weight categories, meaning Pat must strike gold or silver, or lose to the winner, to clinch his place on the plane to Brazil.

But the gifted Birtley ABC star is aiming for the top of the podium following a brilliant run of form in 2016.

McCormack has won both bouts for the unbeaten GB Lionhearts in the World Series Boxing championships, winning against America’s Gary Russell in Miami and defeating Mexico’s Raul Curiel, who has already qualified for Rio, at the York Hall in London.

It got even better for Pat when he took gold at the Chemistry Cup recently in Germany where he outpointed Mongolian Chinzorig Baatarsukh in the final to also earn the boxer of the tournament trophy.

“If I can secure my spot now I can relax until the Olympics,” he said at his training base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

“There are other qualifying events after this, but I don’t want to wait.

“I’m firing on all cylinders at the moment – I’ve really dedicated myself to it this year, cutting no corners, and I think that’s shown in the ring.

“I’ve had two WSB wins, one against the top American and then another against the Mexican who has already got his spot at the Olympics.

“I’ve just been to the Chemistry Cup where I had three good wins and I feel on top form.”

Sibling Luke has missed out on selection for this event, Joe Cordina, from Wales, having been picked at lightweight while injury has ruled out Sunderland talent Josh Kelly, with Birtley’s Cyrus Pattinson going at welter.