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GB Boxing stars McCormack and Price ranked number one

Great Britain’s status as global power in Olympic boxing has been underlined by the newly published world rankings, which place seven members of the GB Boxing squad in the top five in the world at their weight class, with Lauren Price and Pat McCormack both ranked at number one.

The September 2020 rankings have been compiled by the international governing body and are based on ranking points secured since November 2018 at major tournaments, such as world and continental championships.

The elevation to world number one status of Price and McCormack reflects the achievements of both boxers who have won a medal at every major tournament they have taken part in during this two year period.

Welsh middleweight, Price, is the 2019 world champion and has not lost a bout since November 2018 when she had to settle for bronze at the 2018 world championships in India.

Since then she has won gold at both the 2019 European Games in Belarus and the world championships later the same year in Russia. She also took gold, along with McCormack, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games although this did not contribute to either boxers world ranking points.

Like Price, welterweight, McCormack won gold as the 2019 European Games (which also doubled-up as the men’s European Championships) and secured silver at that year’s world championships in Russia.

The 25 year old from Washington, Tyne and Wear was unlucky to be denied gold after a clash of heads in the second round of the final saw him sustain a cut which led the contest to be stopped just as he was starting to get on top. The bout went to the judges’ who scored it 4:0 in favour of his Russian opponent.

McCormack said: “I have had a good few years and it’s great that the rankings reflect this. I was gutted to lose the world final, particularly given the way it happened with the clash of heads, but I am focused on Tokyo now. To know that I am ranked number one in the world is a big confidence boost that will help to push me on.”

Price added: “I have won just about everything over the last couple of years and to now be ranked number one in the world is a great achievement. It is something I am very proud of. The only thing left is the Olympics so I am completely focused on Tokyo next year and aiming to complete my set of medals.”

The strength-in-depth at GB Boxing is underlined by the appearance of five other members of the squad in the top five in the world at their weight class.

At featherweight, Peter McGrail is ranked number three in the world. The Liverpool boxer has won a medal at every major event he has taken part in since 2017 and secured bronze at both the European Games and the world championships in 2019.

A breakthrough year in 2019 has seen light-heavyweight, Ben Whittaker, rise to number three in the world on the back of a silver medal performance at the European Games and a bronze at the 2019 world championships.

Consistent medal winning performances by flyweight, Galal Yafai, and heavyweight, Cheavon Clarke, mean the pair are now ranked at number five in the world at their respective weight classes.

In the women’s squad an outstanding 2019 saw featherweight, Karriss Artingstall, shoot up the rankings to number five on the back of a silver at the 2019 European Championships in Spain and bronze at the worlds in Russia.

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “The boxers have performed very well over the last two year and it is satisfying to see their achievements being recognised in the world rankings.

“Elite international boxing is extremely competitive and getting harder all the time. To have so many boxers ranked in the top five in the world is a fantastic achievement by the boxers and all of the staff at GB Boxing, especially the coaches who do a superb job working with the boxers day-in-day-out in the gym and in taking them to competitions all over the world.”

Two other members of the GB Boxing squad that also feature in the world rankings are Luke McCormack and Frazer Clarke, who are ranked 13th in the world at lightweight and super-heavyweight respectively.