European Championship boxing: Luke, Pat McCormack must settle silver medals after final defeat

Luke McCormack
Luke McCormack
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Wearside's McCormack twins have missed out on gold medals at the European Championships.

Luke McCormack lost the U64 kilo final to Hovhannes Bachkov on a unanimous points verdict and in the bout which followed, Pat lost the U69 kilo showpiece to Abass Baraou on a split decision.

The 22-year-olds, from Washington, gave it their absolute all but, after a sensational week in the Ukraine, they were both edged out in classic final bouts.
Luke was the first in the ring in Kharkiv against the aggressive Armenian but the 5-0 result does not tell the whole story.

McCormack impressed in the first round, beating his rival to the punch to the head with Bachkov doing his better work to the body.

Bachkov made forceful start to the second round and while McCormack picked up his form as the session went on, the middle three minutes belonged to the fighter in the blue corner.

It appeared to be all square going into the final round.

The third round started with furious punch-for-punch action with both boxers fighting themselves to a standstill.

McCormack got through with some good head shots and a sweet upper cut while the all-action Bachkov let both fists go.

That last three minutes looked close but all five judges scored it to the Armenian.

The Bulgarian judge marked all three rounds to Bachkov with the other four judges scoring it 29-28 to Bachkov, indicating how close the light-welterweight contest was.

Pat stepped through the ropes in the Lokomotyv Sports Palace just seconds later knowing Luke had been beaten and he too was forced to concede second best to his opponent.

Baraoua was relentless in his approach and took the gold medal 4-1 from the ringside judges.

As in Luke's final, Pat performed well in the opener, using his feet well and scoring with his right, a punch which has served him well throughout the tournamement.

The German came forward throughout the first three minutes and he did just the same in the second, landing with both hands against the Birtley ABC welterweight.

Baraou set an unbelievable pace and McCormack could not find the dazzling movement and rapid handspeed which had been a feature of the competition.

Pat did finish the round with spirit but, like Luke's match, the destination of the title looked to be on the final three minutes.

Baraou again began the session with purpose, scoring with both gloves and while Pat dug deep and fought strongly, the German's pressure gave him the edge.

The Turkish judged scored it two rounds to one for McCormack, but the judges from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Iran and Kazakhstan all went 29-28 to Baraou.

It was a disappointing end for Pat who had reeled off four unanimous wins in Kharkiv but for the second European Championship in succession he came home swith a silver medal.