Pat McCormack continues to get it right throughout his second Olympic tour.
The welterweight representative for Great Britain guarantees his nation at least Bronze following a repeat win over Bobo-Usmon Baturov in their quarterfinal bout Thursday afternoon at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.
McCormack won by scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 on four cards, while judge had the contest at 29-28 in favor of Baturov.
The bout was a rematch of the 2019 World Amateur semifinals, which McCormack won en route to claiming top honors in the tournament. It has added to his growing legacy as the top welterweight in the world, entering Tokyo as the number-one seed after bowing out in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Rio Olympics as a light welterweight.
McCormack showcased his supreme boxing skills against an aggressive Butarov, who tried to force a firefight on a night when the Brit was content to box. Both boxers were successful in implementing their game plan, as reflected on the cards with McCormack winning the round in the eyes of three of the five judges.
Round two provided more separation between the two. McCormack's blazing hand speed carried him through the frame, sweeping it on the five judges' scorecards. Baturov was unable to contend with the combinations from McCormack, who was dropping right hands and left hooks on the Uzbek's chin.
The lone brush with adversity for McCormack came in round three. A clash of heads left McCormack with a cut outside of his right eyelid, with blood streaming down his face. It proved inconsequential, as his lead on the scorecards was insurmountable.
McCormack will need the wound to heal in time for Sunday's semifinal bout. He is the second Brit to advance to the medal round, joining Karriss Artingstall who has already won three fights to advance at featherweight.
Great Britain is now 14-3 in Tokyo and with eight of its original eleven team members still in the hunt for medals.
A familiar face accompanies McCormack into the semifinals, as Aidan Walsh will guarantee at least one medal for Ireland. The 24-year-old Belfast native outboxed Mervin Clair (Mauritius) in their quarterfinal bout.
Scores were in favor of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Walsh, who spent most of the fight boxing from the outside. Clair—who ousted number-four seed Zeyad Eishaih on Wednesday—did his best to close the gap, being credited for effective aggression in winning 29-28 on the dissenting tally.
Walsh will look to solve his amateur boxing kryptonite—McCormack owns three wins over the course of their long-standing rivalry.
Roniel Iglesias is now the co-owner of two Olympic records—most appearances (four, shared with five other boxers) and most medals (three, shared with nine other boxers). The latter was established following his unanimous decision win over USA's Delante 'Tiger' Johnson. Iglesias—a two-time Bronze medalist—is guaranteed to once again win at least that much, but guns for Silver or better.
Full recap of their fight can be found here: https://www.boxingscene.com/roniel-iglesias-decisions-delante-tiger-johnson-guaranteed-third-olympic-medal--159500
Iglesias will face Andrei Zamkovoi (ROC), a two-time Olympian who outclassed Georgia's Eskerkhan Madiev in order to advance. The 2019 World Amateur champion won on all five scorecards to become the fourth member of the independently represented ROC team to advance to the medal round.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox