Multi-talented Harlequins academy player and Southbourne-based Panthers Gym member readying himself to represent England in Three Nations event – but must first sit English and PE GCSE exams


The Southbourne Panthers Gym powerhouse teenager, who hails from Westhampnett, will represent England in the Three Nations junior event held in Barnsley on Saturday and Sunday.

Already a three-time national champion, with schoolboy and two national junior honours, McCormack will come up against the very best from Wales and Scotland as he bids to collect the latest top age group boxing prize.

He must manoeuvre his way through a semi-final contest on Saturday before, hopefully, battling it out in the final scheduled for the following day.

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Conor McCormack, left, with Panthers Gym coach Ash Whiting after collecting his England national junior boys belt and certificate earlier this year

But, first, the St Philip Howard Catholic School pupil, 16, must sit his English and PE GCSE exams on Friday before attention can turn to the Three Nations event.

McCormack said: ‘The training camp has been really good and I think I’ve peaked at just the right level with fitness and strength.

‘This will be a step up and winning this would be good because that would propel me onto the Europeans in October.

‘I’ve got English and PE GCSE exams on Friday so I’ll have to travel up after that. I’d say this is the highest level of competition (faced in amateur career).

Three-time national champion Panthers Gym member Conor McCormack with his two junior and schoolboy championship honours

‘I’ve sparred a lot of good people as well, I’ve sparred a few pros, so that’s great training, always sparring better than what you could face.’

It seems there are no ends to this teenager’s talents, as he also plays rugby for Harlequins under-17 academy set up.

Since taking up boxing four years ago and working under the guidance of Panthers Gym coach Ash Whiting, McCormack has won 11 of his 12 amateur bouts, collecting three national titles in the process.

And the +80kg fighter, who will enter the Three Nations junior event this weekend, believes his rugby training proves beneficial to help him flourish in the boxing ring.

McCormack added: ‘I do like my rugby, I play for Harlequins, we play teams like Bath, Newcastle and other Championship teams. It’s good training for boxing as well because you can translate it to boxing.

‘Obviously, it’s the rugby off-season right now so it’s easier to focus on boxing. In the thick of it, I was training rugby and boxing on the same days. I was training six or seven days a week. I’m going to try to ride out for as long as possible (splitting boxing and rugby).’

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