Olympics: Pat McCormack on his way in Rio with win over Ablaikhan Zhussupov

Pat McCormack
Pat McCormack

Pat McCormack is on his way in Rio after a brilliant Olympic debut.

The Washington boxer outpointed light-welterweight wonderkid Ablaikhan Zhussupov, from Kazakhstan, in the round of 32 tonight.

McCormack has faced a long wait to take his steps in the Riocentro Pavilion 6, but the 21-year-old made that wait worthwhile.

The Birtley ABC boxer controlled the bout from the start and took the verdict 30-27 on the scorecards of the Brazil and Hungary judges.

Remarkably, the Vietnamese judge marked it two rounds to one, 29-28, to Zhussupov but justice was done as the Algerian referee held aloft the right hand of the boxer in the blue ring.

McCormack, the form U64 kilo boxer in the world, made a steady start against the 19-year-old southpaw who came onto the contest as the World Junior and Olympic Youth gold medallist.

He landed the first punch of the fight, a nice left hook, followed by two straight rights.

Zhussupov did get through with a left to the body but McCormack finished smartly with two combinations.

Pat began round two in style jolting his opponent before connecting with some sharp lefts and some short and accurate combinations.

All three judges marked the middle session for McCormack to put him in the driving seat going into the last.

Zhussupov faced the prospect of having to come forward in the final round and that suited the Wearsider who picked him off with his left and got his rival with a left-right-left combo.

McCormack finished with a couple of rights and while judge Trong Vuong gave it to Zhussupov, Marcela Souza and Roland Juhasz awarded the round to Pat and rightly so.

The European silver medallist must face the number two seed, Yasniel Toledo López, from Cuba on Sunday night (start 11.30pm BST).