Sunderland Supermacs Kiaran and Luke strike gold again

Kiaran Macdonald on his way to victory.
Kiaran Macdonald on his way to victory.
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Kiaran Macdonald and Luke McCormack have followed up international glory by extending their domination of the domestic ring.

The Wearside boxers, having excelled overseas in a Team GB vest, both struck gold for the second time at the England Boxing Elite National Championships.

For amateur fighters, the ABAs, as they are more popularly known, are to boxing what the FA Cup is to football.

Sunderland star Macdonald defeated long-time light-flyweight rival, Connor Butler in the U48 kilo final in Rotherham, where McCormack, from Washington, beat Martin McDonagh for the light-welterweight title.

The pressure was firmly on Macdonald, given his status as the number one seed and the fact he held a winning record against his opponent, from Liverpool.

The Sunderland ABC star put his boxing together superbly in the opening three minutes at the Magna Centre and while the middle session was not as good, he finished well in the last round against the Everton Red Triangle man.

When the word “split” is announced it becomes a heart-in-the-mouth moment, but it was followed by “Macdonald in the red corner” and the 19-year-old was able to celebrate retaining his light-fly title.

“It was a special feeling,” said the 19-year-old, from Millfield. “Most boxers dream of winning one ABA title and now I have two before I even turn 20.

“I thought it should have been a unanimous decision, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

“I thought I’d won the first but maybe switched off a bit in the second. I picked it up in the last and got the decision.

“Connor’s good, he’s boxed at Worlds and Europeans before and is a tough customer, but I’ve probably five or six times now and beaten him every time.”

Macdonald, who is part of the GB side who train at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, added: “Everything seems to be falling into place.

“I’ve medalled at my last three ingternational tournaments, where I’ve been coming against some of he best in my division and I’m getting great sparring with my GB team-mates.

“I’ll be looking to keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Kiaran added his thanks to Sunderland coaches Joe Purvis, Jimmy Richardson, Steve Pattinson and Dean Hassan.

Macdonald also marvelled at the form of Wearside neighbour, McCormack, after he too collected his second ABA title.

The twin brother of Olympian, Pat, Luke took every round of his U64 kilo final, against McDonagh, from the Rumbles Boxing Academy.

“Luke’s brilliant,” added Macdonald. “He’s just come back from the European Under 22 championship with gold.

“He’s really talented and I’m sure we’ll see him at the 2020 Olympics and I’m hoping I’ll be there with him.”