Pat McCormack reveals why Olympic silver will provide the perfect platform in the pro ranks
Pat McCormack believes a semi-final walkover left him rusty as he was on the receiving end of a Cuban boxing masterclass but thinks Olympic silver will provide the perfect platform in the pro ranks.
The man with the golden mouthguard wasn’t able to earn the medal to match as Team GB’s wait for a first-ever welterweight Olympic gold goes on, with Roniel Iglesias outboxing McCormack in Tuesday’s final.
The British No.1 seed had been impressive in beating Aliaksandr Radzionau and Bobo-Usmon Baturov, before getting a walkover against Ireland’s Aidan Walsh, but Iglesias – light welterweight Olympic champion from London 2012 – was at a different level.
The Cuban’s hand speed and footwork were impeccable as McCormack could barely lay a glove on him and the Tynesider had no complaints at a unanimous decision points defeat, even if the Walsh walkover had left him undercooked.
“I was just up against a top fighter from Cuba, he’s a double Olympic champion now,” said McCormack, who is form Washington and fights out of Birtley Amateur Boxing Club.
“I thought I took the first round and he edged the second two, so I’ve got no complaints – I lost to a very, very good fighter. It is what it is.
“He was very good – had good little judgement of distances. He’s a very, very good fighter.
“To be honest, I could have done with boxing in the semi-finals. I haven’t done anything for four days apart from a bit of work on the pads.
“I could have done with a fight to get my eye in but it is what it is – he’s injured. I’ve got a silver medal so I can’t be too unhappy.”
Earlier in the Olympics, McCormack had vowed to “complete amateur boxing” by winning gold and although he came up just short, his next steps are clear.
“I’m going to turn professional,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming with the lockdown and everything got pushed back a year.
“I’ve got an Olympic silver medal, so it’s a good platform to turn professional on and I’m ready for the pros. I’ve fought a lot of good Olympians.”
McCormack’s medal is one of six guaranteed pieces of silverware for Team GB’s boxers, with that haul matching their best at any overseas Olympics in history.
And even though the disappointment of not being able to call himself Olympic champion will linger, the 26-year-old was delighted to play his role in something special.
“I’m proud to be part of the team,” he added. “We’ve broken all the records from the last squads, with more medals. We’ll go down in history as one of the best GB teams ever.”
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