Washington conquering Europe with McCormack twins and Jordan Pickford

Referee Maria Rizzardo prepares to raise the hand of Pat McCormack
Referee Maria Rizzardo prepares to raise the hand of Pat McCormack
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Washington’s bid to conquer Europe is gathering pace.

Jordan Pickford helped England to a 2-1 victory at the European Under 21 Championship in Poland last night after two of his pals from the town clinched highly-impressive wins in the boxing ring in the Ukraine.

The McCormack twins are through to the quarter-finals of boxing’s European Championships.

Luke and Pat McCormack both triumphed against dangerous southpaw opponents yesterday in their round of 16 bouts.

And by reaching the last eight they have achieved so much already, qualifying for the Worlds later this year.

But the 22-year-olds will not want to stop at that.

Tomorrow they return to the ring in Kharkiv, where victory will take them into the semis and guarantee them a medal in their first international tournament together.

Luke faces a major task at U64 kilos against Ireland’s Sean McComb, the man who yesterday ended the reign of defending light-welterweight champion, Vitaly Dunaytsev.

Pat has Russian opposition tomorrow night when he meets Sergei Sobylinskii at U69 kilos.

Both have tough examinations but the Birtley ABC fighters have passed every test so far with flying colours. Luke was the first brother through yesterday when he outpointed Johann Eduardo Ojeda in the light-welterweight division.

He had to work hard for his victory at the Lokomotyv Sports Palace against a very difficult southpaw in what proved a fascinating three-round battle.

McCormack started the better, striking with a couple of nice body shots and a left-right-left combination.

His opponent was continuously looking to unload his left, though his success came via single shots, with the better variety coming from the Birtley star.

Round two began well for McCormack as the Spaniard missed with punch after punch but as the session progressed he did begin to connect and visibly grew in confidence, though he was told off by the Kazakh ref for slapping.

After such a close middle round, it all appeared to be on the last three minutes.

And McCormack stepped up to the mark superbly, getting off a series of good right hands to the head of his opponent.

Ojeda landed a couple of lefts but McCormack’s right was proving productive, striking the head and body of the southpaw.

Luke needed to come on strong in the last and he did just that for a unanimous points decision.

Pat was up against rangy southpaw Adolphe Sylva last night in his round of 16 contest.

The opening round was a cagey affair with both boxers tending to fall short of the target with their punches.

However, when Pat found the mark, he did it in style, driving a three-punch combination into the head.

Sylva appeared to be feeling the weight of Pat’s shots towards the end of the first and McCormack rocked him midway through the second, forcing the Swede to touch down on the canvas.

Amazingly, Italian referee, Maria Rizzardo, did not rule it a knockdown but it provided encouragement for the GB Boxing man who proceeded to deliver a constant volley of punches to Sylva’s head.

To the credit of the boxer from the blue corner, he regained his composure for the last round but a right-left from McCormack and a stinging follow-up right soon put him back on the retreat.

Dominant Pat finished strongly and was the winner across the board.

The McCormacks are joined in Kharkiv by Birtley team-mate, Calum French, and the lightweight will tonight, when he faces Arslan Khataev, from Finland, in the preliminary round,

The trio are out to make history by striking gold and the twins have made great strides already. What is it about Washington boys wearing gloves?