Luke McCormack gave it everything but was forced to give second best to one of the world’s top amateur stars at the World Series of Boxing final.
The Washington boxer was outpointed by Lazaro Alvarez as the British Lionhearts lost 9-1 to Cuba Domodores in Uzbekistan on Saturday night.
Great Britain were missing several of their number one boxers, including Wearside duo Pat McCormack and Josh Kelly, and duly succumbed to a powerful Cuban team, which included six current world or Olympic champions.
Luke McCormack was one of the lead British performers in Tashkent. GB were already 6-0 down when Luke took to the ring, but, despite a good performance, Alvarez won by a unanimous lightweight verdict after the five rounds.
A fourth-round stoppage by super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke, in the final bout, was the British team’s only highpoint.
It ensured the Lionhearts were not whitewashed and made sure the man from Burton finished the season with an impressive 5-0 record and emerged as one of the best boxers in the competition.
Rob McCracken, performance director of GB Boxing and the head coach of the British Lionhearts, said: “To have made the final of a competition as tough and physically demanding as WSB is a superb achievement by our squad.
“They can all be very pleased with what they have accomplished this season.
“At times, we have had to select some of our younger and more inexperienced boxers who have shown a superb attitude and performed fantastically well in enabling the team to go as far as it has.
“The coaches and I are very proud of them and the way they have acquitted themselves.
“The final was always going to be very hard against such a powerful and talented team as Cuba. But the team still delivered some good performances and will have learnt a lot from the experience of competing against a team packed with world and Olympic champions.”