Luke McCormack scored another major win over British rival Sean McComb to move a step closer to a coveted Commonwealth gold - a prize he believes is now his to lose.
The 22-year-old from Washington, who also trumped Northern Ireland’s McComb at last year’s World Championships, booked a quarter-final spot on the Gold Coast with a split decision victory in a tense bout.
The Washington fighter’s cleaner work and counter punching in the first and third rounds caught the eyes of the judges, although McComb’s thumbs down gesture to the crowd as McCormack’s hand was raised perhaps showed how close it was.
And although McCormack insists he will always have McComb’s number, he knows it will mean little if he doesn’t capitalise and challenge for gold.
“He’s a tough opponent, he’s big, he’s massive for the weight,” said McCormack. “He came to fight so I was trying to draw him onto shots and I was doing it well, I was catching him with the cleaner shots and I’m just buzzing.
“I feel that was the final here. I thought he was going to be the hardest bout so I’m glad to get him out of the way and push on from here.
“He was disappointed the last time I beat him and he will be the next time I beat him. The thing I like boxing Sean McComb, I always win.
“I think I won the first, he might have nicked the second and I thought I’ll just push on because this will be my last fight in the competition if I don’t.
“I was being a little eager with him being so tall but I found my range and I think he slowed down a little bit. He had a second wind late in the second round but he couldn’t keep it going.”
McCormack isn’t a fighter short of confidence and that will come in handy when he faces off against Australia’s Liam Wilson on Tuesday in the last eight with a partisan crowd sure to await him.
A win there would guarantee a medal - with both losing semi-finalists getting bronze medals.
The only issue McCormack has had at these Games came from a faulty set of scales - McCormack having to wake up early to lose a little more weight before his opening bout - but he insists there isn’t much else that will stand in his way.
“I felt terrible in my first fight. Our scales were wrong so I had to get up at 6.30am to do a bit of skipping,” he added.
“It was a bit of a nightmare as our scales were different to theirs so it killed me. I was a little tired with all the travel and the weight but it’s all coming together nicely now.”
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