Opportunities to compete on home soil are few and far between for Pat McCormack but that will all change as the World Series of Boxing travels around the UK next year.

McCormack made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016 before clinching European silver earlier this year, though he missed out on a World Championship medal via a unanimous points decision in August.

Despite being just 22, McCormack’s career has already taken him to all corners of the globe and that looks set to continue as he eyes a place at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

But there’s no place like home for the Birtley man and he’ll finally get to fight back where it all started when the British Lionhearts compete at Gateshead Leisure Centre on February 16.

And with an unbeaten record to defend, McCormack can’t wait to show what he does best in front of a familiar crowd.

"I'm so looking forward for this season of WSB to start,” he said.

"I'm still unbeaten, I've won five from five, so I'm looking to keep that record going.

"I haven't boxed in the North East since I was 15 or 16, so I'm looking forward to boxing in my hometown and putting on a good show.

"I'm very excited to get back up there, I can't wait to box in front of my friends and family.

"I really want to stay undefeated this season, and shine under the cameras.

"I want to go to the next Olympics in Tokyo and win the gold medal. It would be unbelievable because once you've won that gold medal, you're made for life."

The WSB sees teams, representing franchises across the globe, compete in a league format that leads to play-offs and a final.

Boxers compete without vests or headguards, and in a change to traditional Olympic-style boxing, WSB bouts go to five rounds.

Since the British Lionhearts returned to the WSB in 2013, matches have been held at London's York Hall, but this season will travel around the UK.

And for Rob McCracken, GB Boxing's performance director, the WSB can help McCormack go onto even greater things.

“Pat could go on to achieve anything he wants in boxing,” he said.

“He’s performed very well in AOB and WSB, he’s adapted well and the best boxers are those who can go between the different formats.

“Pat has shown he can do that. He has a very good record in both.

“He’s young, he’s talented, and he’ll only get better with more experience.”

The British Lionhearts are going on tour for the 2018 season of the World Series of Boxing (WSB), competing in Gateshead, Liverpool and Newport. Buy tickets at www.gbboxing.org.uk/tickets