Pat McCormack is still two fights away from a gold medal match but he’s already sizing up Russian rival Andrey Zamkovoy in the Olympic final.
McCormack started his bid for Tokyo gold by comfortably beating Belarus’ Aliaksandr Radzionau in the men’s welterweight category.
That put the Sunderland fighter into the quarter-finals, where he will face Uzbekistan’s Bobo-Usmon Baturov on Friday, with victory there guaranteeing a medal fight.
But McCormack, the top seed and favourite for gold, has one eye on the final - where he's dreaming of a match against world champion Zamkovoy after toppling him at the Olympic qualifiers in Paris two months ago.
“The last time I boxed him, I won and said that’s 1-1, Olympic final next. Hopefully we both get there and I get another win over him for 2-1,” said McCormack, whose bouts are being broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+.
“There is no bigger prize in sport than an Olympic gold medal. I have dreamed of that since watching Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell win it in London. After this, it’s the end of the amateurs and time for the pros and the next chapter. I can’t wait.”
McCormack watched his twin brother Luke make serene progress in the men’s lightweight first round on Monday and was chomping at the bit ahead of his opening bout.
Luke was there to watch as Pat dominated Radzionau and was awarded a unanimous points victory.
“It is better with a crowd there, it’s a bit quiet here but I can hear my brother and that’s all that matters,” he said.
“It’s good to get that out of the way, he’s a decent fighter and it was messy. I just grabbed, pulled and turned him and I’m through to the next round.
“I felt like it was comfortable today, it was messy at times but I thought I won easily. I have beaten the Uzbek, who has just won the first fight there but I want to beat him and rule the world.
“I always reach my ceiling in tournaments and hopefully I will reach it in this one and bring it home.”
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