Friday 24 November 2017

Pat McCormack stars as British Lionhearts overcome Mexico Guerreros

Pat McCormack led the British Lionhearts to victory over Mexico Guerreros at York Hall.
Pat McCormack led the British Lionhearts to victory over Mexico Guerreros at York Hall.

Pat McCormack pulled off one of the best wins of his career as the British Lionhearts stretched their unbeaten start to the new World Series of Boxing season with victory over the Mexico Guerreros at York Hall.

The Birtley light-welterweight produced a sharp and polished performance to confidently out-score experienced opponent Raul Curiel, who had finished the last campaign at second place in the WSB rankings.

McCormack's unanimous 49-46 win was preceded by victories for Qais Ashfaq and debutant Galal Yafai to give the Lionhearts an unassailable 3-0 lead with two bouts of the night remaining.

McCormack said: "It's one of my best wins against a guy who has already qualified for the Olympics and it gives me all the confidence I need to keep building from this.

"I feel strong and confident and I keep proving that I can beat anybody at my weight, so my aim is now to get qualified for Rio and go there and win the gold medal."

Ashfaq was given a sterner workout by Sergio Chirino at bantamweight, but came on strong to cut and hurt his opponent in the third round and claim a clear points victory.

Yafai, younger brother of former GB stars Kal and Gamal, won when opponent Joselito Velazquez withdrew early in the second round of their bout with an injured shoulder.

Yafai said: "It's not the way I would have wanted to win because I wanted to go five rounds, but the whole thing was a great experience and it is something I can definitely learn from."

Antony Fowler extended the Lionhearts' lead after chiselling out a tough points win over Mexican opponent Misael Rodriguez, winning 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 on the three judges' scorecards.

And rising Hackney star Lawrence Okolie completed a 5-0 win in devastating fashion with a clubbing right hand to stop Jared Barraza early in the first round of their heavyweight bout.

Press Association

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