McCormack brothers make mum proud with Commonwealth Games medal glory
The proud mum of Wearside boxing twins Pat and Luke McCormack says she was '˜made-up' when she watched being handed Commonwealth Games medals.
Pat McCormack claimed gold in the welterweight section, while twin brother Luke collected a bronze in the light welterweight competition.
The brothers now have their eyes on Olympic glory after scooping medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Luke, who lost his semi-final to Namibia’s Jonas Jonas after a split decision, said he thought he had done enough to earn a shot at gold, but it wasn’t to be.
Pat was devastated to see his brother denied a place in the final, but said the nature of his defeat - and seeing Luke’s despair - had made him all the more determined to win his semi-final bout against India’s Manoj Kumar.
“I just thought after he got beat, ‘You have got to put everything into it’, he said.
“Just seeing how gutted he was, I thought ‘I am not letting that happen to me’.
“I was so focussed.”
Luke was never in any doubt that his brother would make it to the final, or that he would prevail in his clash with Northern Ireland’s Aidan Walsh: “I knew he was going to get through,” he said.
“I was never really that nervous about it. Every time he was boxing, I knew what was going to happen.”
Pat was prepared for a difficult fight, with Walsh having looked impressive through the qualifying stages, but in the end the Northern Irishman put up little resistance and Pat’s main concern was a lack of opportunity to show what he is capable of in the ring.
“The lad looked really good all the way through. He looked really sharp and I knew it was going to be a hard fight,” he said.
“But he was running away and I wanted to put a show on. There was no real match happening.
“In the first round I couldn’t really catch him but in the second I started putting together six, seven, eight punch combinations.”
There was little surprise for those watching in the stadium and at home when Pat was declared the winner - but it was still a hugely emotional experience.
“I was over the moon,” he said.
“Whatever happens, I can look back and say in 2018, I was the Commonwealth gold medallist. It is something to tell the grandchildren.
“No-one can take that away from me.”
Pat went to the last Commonwealth Games and Olympics, but this was Luke’s first taste of a major games.
The twins were accompanied on their trip Down Under by proud mum Michelle: “It was just brilliant,” she said.
“What an experience. I was so proud to see them, it was lovely.
“They looked brilliant and I was just made up.”
Dad Martin stayed at home, keeping in touch every day - at least until he lost his phone.
“It was difficult keeping track during the early fights, that was a little bit frustrating,” he said.
“And losing my phone did not help.”
A combination of WhatsApp messages and updates from daughter Hollie kept Martin in the loop, however, and he was never in any doubt the lads would succeed.
“I had faith they were going to do well - I had seen how much work and dedication they had put in,” he said.
Now the pair have their sights set on the European and World Championships, which in turn are qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
They put their success down to the support they have had from Birtley Boxing Club, which they joined when they were around 11.
“At Birtley it was normal to box for England. It was expected you would box for England,” said Luke.
“We did not even know you could box for England,” added Pat.