Olympics boxing: GB's Ben Whittaker and Pat McCormack guarantee medals with quarter-final wins

Team GB's Ben Whittaker defeated Brazil's Keno Machado in the quarter-finals of Tokyo 2020

Team GB's Ben Whittaker and Pat McCormack will both bring home at least an Olympic bronze medal from Tokyo 2020 after winning their bouts against Keno Machado and Bobo Baturov respectively. 

Light-heavyweight Whittaker, 24, narrowly beat the Brazilian by split decision in the boxing ring to reach the semi-finals at a noticeably empty Kokugikan Arena in the early hours of the morning. 

Whittaker was up on the scorecards after the first round but Machado clawed his way back into the fight in the second round before Whittaker came out on top in the third round with a 3-2 win.    

Speaking to BBC Sport afterwards, he said: "I don't want to cry again, so, I've been crying like a baby.

"But it was weird, everybody's heard me all week and the last months and what not, 'A bronze is nothing, a silver's nothing', and I truthfully did mean that, I'm not just lying now, but when the win did come, I had a little roar, I did my celebration, then out of nowhere it just hit me.

"'Do you know what you've done, Ben? Do you know what you've done?' And I thought all those years I've watched the Olympics, and all the times I've been in the gym with Olympians, and they'll tell you their stories, like 'He's lying man, he's lying'.

"But when it hits you, it's a weird, weird feeling, and the coaches said you're going to be on the wall in Sheffield."     

Read more: Tokyo Olympics 2021: Latest News, Dates, Results, Sports And Everything You Need To Know

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Where was Anthony Joshua born?

The 24-year-old, who trains at Firewalker ABC and lives in West Bromwich, has been backed to go all the way and reach the final by compatriot Anthony Joshua.

Unlike some of his more-established teammates like Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty, the amateur boxer has quietly flown under the radar, but Olympic gold medallist Joshua believes he could be ready to come of age. 

“I was in training, I was about to start and I just saw Ben on the old FaceTime, so I thought I’ve gotta jump on and just give him his credit," Joshua told talkSPORT.

“He’s going all the way, he’s a real talent this one. I’d give him every medal, he’s much better than I was. He’s gonna go out there and do his thing, he’s very experienced.

“It’s just about the experience. The amateur system is like going to university or college, and then the pros is where you actually go to work.

“I feel like he’s got so much experience now, he’s got a great chance.

“Just do your best, that’s all you can do, Ben. Just do your best, have fun, it’s a great time in your life, so just have fun. That’s all you can do, that’s all I can ask for.”

McCormack, meanwhile, kept the big-hitting Uzbek at bay with a probing jab to seal a 4-1 points victory and secure a place in the semi finals. 

The victory guarantees Great Britain at least three medals at the Olympic Games and McCormack will now face Ireland's Aidan Walsh at the Kokugikan Arena on Sunday. 

Read more: Tokyo 2020: Frazer Clarke reaches Olympic boxing quarter-finals

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