GB coach backs Pat McCormack to clinch Olympics place
One of Great Britain's boxing coaches says Pat McCormack has a 'real chance' of booking a place at the Olympics next week.
Trainer Paul Walmsley believes the Washington boxer is one of the in-form light-welterweights in the world at the moment.
McCormack is with the 13-strong GB team in Turkey for the European Olympoic qualifying event over the next 12 days.
“He’s come into a rich vein of form at the right moment,” Walmsley told the Echo.
“I think he has a real chance, as they all do.”
The event is the first of four tournaments this year when Rio 2016 places are up for grabs.
Three spots are available at each of the 10 men’s weights and two slots are on offer in each of three women’s weight categories.
And McCormack is one of GB’s top hopes in Samsun following a brilliant run.
The 20-year-old was the 2015 European Championship silver medallist and only went out of the Worlds in Doha at the hands of the excellent Russian, Vitaly Dunaytsev
This year, the Birtley ABC boxer has beaten top American Gary Russell in Miami and defeated Mexico’s Raul Curiel, who has already qualified for the Rio Olympics.
Both those wins came in the World Series of Boxing league, proof that McCormack is at the top of his game.
In fact, Dunaytsev is the only man to have beaten him in 2015 and 2016, the Russian gaining a disputed points verdict in the European final where the pair met.
“Pat seems to have gone from strength to strength,” said Walmsley.
“He’s matured pretty quickly and he’s holding his own with the best in the world.
“Everyone (in the GB camp) has high hopes for him.
“He lost to the Russian in the worlds and that was a close performance, it wasn’t like it was convincing.
“Pat put in a really good performance from someone who is so young.”
The European Olympoic qualifying event officially opens today and is due to end on April 18.