Sunderland's Pat McCormack guaranteed at least silver medal at Olympics after progressing to final following opponent's withdrawal

Wearside’s own Pat McCormack is guaranteed at least a silver medal at the Olympics in Tokyo after his opponent pulled out of the semi-final of the men's welterweight competition with an ankle injury.

Great Britain's Pat McCormack celebrates after beating Uzbekistan's Bobo Usmon Baturov in the Men's Welter (63-69kg) Quarterfinal 1 at the Kokugikan Arena on the seventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Friday July 30, 2021.

He will fight for men's welterweight gold after Ireland’s Aidan Walsh was forced to withdraw due to injury.

McCormack, a product of Birtley Boxing Club, had been scheduled to face Walsh at lunchtime on Sunday.

He will go straight through to face either Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy or Roniel Iglesias of Cuba in Tuesday's final, while Walsh must settle for bronze.

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The Olympic Federation of Ireland said in a statement: "The decision has been made to withdraw Aidan Walsh from the semi-final of the men's welterweight competition at the Olympic Games.

"The Belfast boxer was due to fight in Sunday's semi-final against Pat McCormack, but due to an ankle injury sustained during his quarter-final bout with Mervin Clair, the decision to withdraw him was made in conjunction with his medical team.”

The 26-year-old was defeated by the Cuban gold medal hope Andy Cruz via a unanimous decision in the last 16 of the men’s lightweight division.

Luke said: “It was a tricky opponent. I didn’t really know what he was doing so I was trying to wait for him to come in but he’s probably one of the best kids I’ve been in with.

“Good luck to him and I hope he goes all the way.

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