Olympics: Wearside boxer Pat McCormack beaten in Rio by split decision

Pat McCormack hammers a punch to the head of Yasniel Toledo
Pat McCormack hammers a punch to the head of Yasniel Toledo
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Pat McCormack’s Olympic dream is over after suffering an agonising points defeat to Yasniel Toledo.

The Washington boxer faced a huge task against the light-welterweight number two seed, from Cuba, and gave it his all, only to lose on a split decision.

He’s got to stick around for Tokyo, I think he’s good enough to win gold there

RICHIE WOODHALL

Kazakhstan judge Natalya Tsoy awarded all three rounds in the round of 16 bout, but her colleagues, Tony Germain (Canada) and Hungary’s Roland Juhasz marked it 29-28 to the London 2012 bronze medallist.

McCormack though can be proud of his debut Olympic campaign.

The 21-year-old defeated teen sensation Ablaikhan Zhussupov, from Kazakhstan, in a tremendous round of 32 contest before giving Toledo a run for his money last night.

BBC TV commentator, Richie Woodhall, described the match between two of the best U64 kilo men on the planet as “physical chess” and the former world champion looked spot on in his assessment.

McCormack was positive in his approach but the cute southpaw was sharp to the punch and there looked precious little in it after the first round, the Kazakh scoring it for Pat with the Canadian and Hungarian officials marking it for the man in the blue corner.

It was the exact same marks in round two where the Birtley ABC star again took the fight to the Cuban king, landing one eye-catching left-right-right combination, with Toledo scoring with single shots on the back foot.

McCormack was up against it in the last but it did not daunt the boxer who recently won the World Olympic qualifier in Baku.

He was the aggressor, landing several long rights to the head of Toledo and while the 26-year-old connected with a couple of punches of his own. the last session was Pat’s.

While all three ringside judges awarded the points McCormack’s way, the southpaw squeezed in via a split decision.

Woodhall told the BBC viewers that McCormack had “acquitted himself well” and believes the title could be his in four years, providing he remains an amateur.

“He’s got to stick around for Tokyo,” said the 1988 Olympic bronze medallist. “I think he’s good enough to win gold there.

“His coaches gave him a big hug, they were really proud of him – I certainly am, he boxed well.

“Pat had the hardest draw of any of the British boxers, but he acquitted himself well.”