Silver lining for McCormack after world final defeat

A freak clash of heads denied Rio 2016 Olympian Pat McCormack the chance to win gold at the Boxing World Championships in Russia as the Brit was forced to settle for silver.

The 24-year-old was the lone survivor of the 13 GB boxers who started the World Championships in Ekaterinburg after reaching the final of the 69kg welterweight category.

But his bid to be crowned world champion came up short after the gold medal bout was curtailed by an accidental clash of heads midway through the second round.

Instead, home favourite and London 2012 bronze medallist Andrey Zamkovoy was awarded the fight in a split decision by the judges based on the opening round-and-a-half.

"It's been a good week for me and the team but I am gutted with how it ended," said McCormack.

"I felt like I was starting to get on top and that he was beginning to get tired, but the clash of heads put a stop to it. It's just one of those things that happen sometimes in boxing.

"I am proud of my silver medal and how I have boxed this week.

"It is all about Tokyo now and, after this last couple of weeks, I feel that me and the rest of the team are in good shape and can be confident as we look forward to the Olympics next year."

McCormack got off to a promising start with a good early combination, before fellow Olympian Zamkovoy landed a powerful left hook that dislodged the Brit’s gumshield.

A brief break in the bout allowed both boxers to take a breath, but the opening round finished in frantic style as the two welterweights traded multiple blows before the bell.

The drama continued in the second round as an accidental clash of heads caused a cut above McCormack’s left eye – prompted the fight to come to a premature conclusion.

Eighth seed Zamkovoy was ultimately adjudged the winner despite there being little to choose between the fighters, but there was at least a silver lining for McCormack.

His medal took GB’s tally at the World Championships to three, following bronze medals for Peter McGrail and Ben Whittaker in the bantamweight and light heavyweight categories.

GB super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke was also deprived of at least a bronze medal when his points victory over Russian Maxim Babanin in the quarter-finals was reversed on appeal. Sportsbeat 2019