Boxers from Great Britain return from World Championships in Russia with three medals

Pat McCormack has to settle for silver at World Boxing Championships

Pat McCormack had to settle for a silver medal at the AIBA World Championships in Ekaterinburg today after losing his welterweight final to Russia’s Andrei Zamkovoi.

A clash of heads in the second round saw McCormack sustain a cut which led the contest to be stopped. It went to the judges’ who scored it 4:0 in favour of the Russian boxer.

McCormack, 24, said: “It’s been a good week for me and the team but I am gutted with how it ended. 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 happens sometimes in boxing.

“I am proud of my silver medal and how I have boxed this week. Not many people from Britain have been to a world final, so I am pleased to have got this far, it’s just a shame about the result.

“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 forwards to the Olympics next year.”

McCormack’s silver medal was the highlight of an excellent tournament for Great Britain, which won three medals across eight weight categories as light-heavyweight, Ben Whittaker and featherweight, Peter McGrail, both secured bronze.

The medal haul ought to have been higher after Frazer Clarke won his super-heavyweight quarter-final against Russia’s Maxim Babanin, only to have the decision reversed by the bout review jury after the host nation appealed against the decision of the ringside judges.

The total of three medals is the joint second best performance ever by a group of boxers from Great Britain at the World Championships and equals the performance of the group that competed at Chicago in 2007. Had Clarke’s medal not been taken away from him then the team would have equalled the four medals won by boxers from the GB Boxing squad at Baku 2011.

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “The standard of this tournament is unbelievably high so to come away with three medals, and know it should have been more, is a fantastic performance.

The fact we had six boxers in the quarter-finals shows we have strength across the weight categories in this group so it has been a really good team performance and all of the boxers and staff should be happy with what they have achieved out here over the last couple of weeks.

“Pat has been absolutely fantastic and it is just very unfortunate that his final got stopped ecause of the clash of heads, as it looked like he was really starting to come into the contest.

“Overall though, we are very happy with the progress we have seen at this tournament. The squad is going in the right direction and the outlook is positive as we look towards the qualifying campaign and the Olympics in Tokyo next year.”

GB BOXING STATEMENT

GB Boxing medal haul reduced to three at World Championships after Russian appeal overturns result of Frazer Clarke’s victory over Maxim Babanin

GB Boxing’s medal haul at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia, has been reduced to three after the Russian Federation successfully appealed against Frazer Clarke’s victory over Maxim Babanin in their super-heavyweight quarter-final.

Clarke had been awarded a 3-2 victory by the ringside judges however the Russian Federation appealed the decision.

Following the appeal, the England team manager was provided with the decision of the appeal jury which read: “The decision of bout review jury is to overturn the original decision based on review of the 3rd round and applying the AIBA scoring criteria. End.”

The decision means Babanin will progress into Friday’s semi-final and reduces the number of medals guaranteed by boxers from the GB Boxing squad at the tournament from four to three.

AIBA’s competition rules do not allow for a counter appeal, however the England team delegation in Russia made representations to AIBA’s technical delegate requesting clarity in a number of areas including:

· The basis on which the Russian Federation appealed the judges’ decision

· The reasons for the decision of the AIBA technical delegate to accept the appeal

· Clarity on the criteria that were used to re-evaluate the scoring of the bout

· The rationale for the decision of the bout review jury to overturn the result

A written response from the AIBA technical delegate said: “I acknowledge receipt of your communication and advise that I will not reconvene the Bout Review Jury.”

The response went on to say the result had been changed as the bout review jury decided that in the third round, the Russian boxer landed more quality blows in the target area and was more competitive than the English boxer.

On some of the specific issues raised by England Boxing the response from the AIBA technical delegate stated: “Following consultation with the Bout Review Jury I exercised my discretion to accept the Protest and to allow it to proceed to a Review of the Bout. The Rules do not oblige me to provide further explanation of the basis upon which I exercised my discretion and I choose not to do so. Under the Rules I am not required to provide you with the scores of the Evaluator that you seek and I choose not to do so.”

A spokesperson for GB Boxing said: “We are absolutely devastated for Frazer that a decision has been made to overturn the result of his quarter-final contest with the Russian boxer. For him to come to his first World Championships and defeat the Russian in front of his home nation crowd was a superb performance. To then have both the result and the medal he deservedly achieved taken away from him in these circumstances is a cruel blow and an outcome that has left the whole team dismayed and bitterly disappointed.

“It is critical that the sport operates with complete openness, transparency and clarity and upholds the highest standards of governance. We are therefore very disappointed that our request for information relating to the decision-making process in this instance has been refused.”

The three boxers from Great Britain that have secured medals and will compete in Friday’s semi-finals are Peter McGrail, Pat McCormack and Ben Whittaker.

McGrail outpointed India’s Kavinder Bisht at featherweight. McCormack overcame Sewarets Okanzawa of Japan on a 3-2 split decision at welterweight and Whittaker secured a 4-1 victory over Jerome Joseph-Pampellone of New Zealand at light-heavyweight.

All three of the medallists and Frazer Clarke are competing in the England vest as England Boxing is the federation which is affiliated to AIBA.

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