Sunderland ABC fighter targets more national glory

Kiaran Macdonald
Kiaran Macdonald
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Kiaran Macdonald is looking to add further national glory this weekend to his international success.

The gifted Sunderland ABC boxer will be in Rotherham, where he defends the light-flyweight title at the ABA Championships.

Macdonald is the top seed in the U48 kilo division but says he thrives on the status rather than feeling any added pressure as the man at the top.

“I have had some tough international tournaments this year and have medalled in all of them,” said the 19-year-old, who has been finishing his preparations this week at the English Institute of Sport, in Sheffield.

“Being full-time with GB Boxing, and sparring and training with the best in the country on a daily basis, has really helped me to develop.

“I am feeling confident and going in there as the reigning elite champion can only be a good thing.”

Given Macdonald competes at the lightest division, numbers are not always high at light-fly.

In fact, the category has only three boxers, with his old youth rival, Connor Butler, from Liverpool, and South Normanton’s Ben Norman as his competition.

Tomorrow’s draw will throw up one semi with the third man going straight into Sunday’s final at the Magna Centre.

“To win again and become a two-time champion would mean everything to me and my club,” he said.

“The Elite finals are the biggest thing in the clubs calendar so I would like to go out there and win my second senior elite title before I am 20.”

Macdonald is part of a Wearside double in Rotherham, where Washington’s Luke McCormack is chasing the light-welterweight gold.

McCormack has recently returned from winning the European U22 Championships in Romania where he triumphed at his new weight.

McCormack said: “I have just moved up a (weight) division, so I have been lifting a lot of weights and eating steaks. There is a bit of pressure going in as number one seed, but my goal is to not lose one round in the whole tournament.

“Longer term, I want to establish myself as the number one at my weight in the GB Boxing squad and then secure selection for this year’s European and World Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

The tournament is staged over three successive days in Rotherham, starting with the quarters tomorrow.