Birtley amateur boxing star Pat McCormack is targeting a big 2018, with a Commonwealth gold medal firmly in his sights.
The 2016 Rio Olympian is already confirmed to be part of the British Lionhearts squad that travel to Gateshead Leisure Centre on February 18, where he will box alongside his Birtley and GB team-mate Calum French in front of his home fans in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
But as well as a big performance there, the 22-year-old also has one eye on this year’s Commonwealth Games which will be hosted on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in April.
The ambitious McCormack said: “It’s a big year for me. If possible, I want to be part of every single round of the WSB, while I also have my eyes on the Commonwealth Games.
“The team for that gets selected this month, so hopefully I get into that, and also do all of the WSB or every one I can do depending on scheduling. I love the WSB and it’s format, and I love boxing too, I just want to be out there as much as possible.
“The Commonwealths is in the Gold Coast this year, so that’s definitely the big goal for me. I want to go there and get the gold medal and get my name on the map.”
After competing at the 2016 Olympics, where he won his first fight before losing out in the round of 16 to London 2012 bronze medallist Yasniel Toledo, there were offers for McCormack to turn professional.
However, he turned down the lure and stayed amateur where his overall goal is a medal in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 – preferably gold.
One step at a time though.
McCormack’s immediate thoughts are on his return home to box in the North East for the first time in years.
Speaking from the GB squad’s training camp in Colorado Springs, where he is preparing for that WSB homecoming, he continued: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the first time I’ve boxed in the North East for six years!
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring, but also putting on a show for all of my friends and family.
“It’s great that they’ll be able to come and watch me live. I normally fight all over the world, so it’s great for them.
“It just adds extra motivation to me because I really want to put on a show for them and show everyone how good I am. So I’m training extra hard and just making sure I get everything right ahead of this one.
“It’s great out here. We’ve got some great facilities and it’s high altitude so perfect to get the conditioning right.
“Everyone coming can expect a top quality performance from me. I’m going to put on a show.”
Tickets to watch the British Lionhearts at Gateshead Leisure Centre on February 16 are at www.gbboxing.org.uk/tickets