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John McCormack

Full name: John McCormack
Nickname(s): Cowboy
Gender: Male
Born: January 9, 1935 in Glasgow, Glasgow City, Great Britain
Died: May 23, 2014 in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Great Britain
Affiliations: NB Loco ABC, Glasgow (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Boxing

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)


John McCormack left school early after the death of his father and took a job at the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow. Fortunately for him the company hosted one of Scotland’s finest amateur boxing clubs and he soon became one of the leading lights of Scottish boxing. After compulsory military service with the Royal Air Force he returned home to become Scottish national champion in 1956. He then clinched his place at the Melbourne Olympics by beating England’s Johnny Cunningham to become ABA champion. Fighting in the light-middleweight division, McCormack defeated opponents from South Africa and Germany before losing a close points decision to eventual silver medallist [José Torres].

He cashed in on the fame given to him by his Olympic medal by turning professional in early 1957.

McCormack had a successful pro career in which he held every available title short of the world championships. The peak of the career came in 1961 when he defeated Harko Kokmeijer of the Netherlands to win the European Middleweight Championships. After losing to his Irish namesake “Young” John McCormack in 1966 he retired from the ring and first became a scaffolder and then, with the Scottish oil boom of the 1970s, worked on North Sea oil rigs for many years. He is an inductee of the Scottish Boxing Hall of Fame.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Boxing Men's Light-Middleweight Great Britain GBR 3T Bronze

Men's Light-Middleweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MR R
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Boxing Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Match #2 2 1956-11-30 Torres (USA) , McCormack (GBR)
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Boxing Great Britain GBR Quarter-Finals Match #3 1 1956-11-28 McCormack (GBR) , Kienast (GER) referee stops contest 3
1956 Summer 21 Melbourne Boxing Great Britain GBR Round One Match #6 1 1956-11-24 McCormack (GBR) , Webster (RSA) decision
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