McGOLDRICK: WELSH TITLES MEAN EVERYTHING

2010 Commonwealth Games winner Sean McGoldrick said that preparing to defend his gold medal later this year by winning his third senior Welsh Championships title ‘means everything’ to him.  On Friday, the St Joseph’s bantamweight (56KG)  secured the national tournament win with a Unanimous Decision over Britton Ferry’s Joshua John at the Cardiff City House of Sport and he paid tribute to the importance of the win. McGoldrick said, “A Welsh title means everything because without being Welsh champion or the number one in Wales, it doesn’t justify being a gold medallist in the Strandjar Cup or the Commonwealth Games champion. I need to be the best in Wales, there’s a lot of pressure to be the best in Wales because if I’m not, it makes the selection process a lot more difficult. “Everyone who comes to fight me, comes to win and I know that. You’re coming from international tournaments back to Wales and people can very easily lose focus, thinking it’s an easy tournament. I know this wouldn’t be an easy tournament because Welsh boxing is on the up. In my second fight I fought a boy (David White, Arthur’s Gym) who had only had five fights and he gave me a great fight. There’s a lot of up and coming boxers in Wales and it keeps me on my toes.” In 2011, McGoldrick was fresh off his Commonwealth Games gold medal glory in India and at an all time high as he entered the Welsh Championships. However, it was at this time when the Newport native suffered a hurtful fall, losing a points decision to Gwynfi’s Daniel Chapman. He said, “Two years ago, I made a big mistake. Daniel is a great, great fighter. He’s very fit, strong and great technically – I can’t praise him enough, to be honest! I made the mistake of putting so much pressure on myself, too much. I didn’t have a game plan, I just thought I’d be fit and strong, go in and beat him but that wasn’t the case. “These boxers are hungry, they want to beat me to take my place. Everyone wants to be in my position and going to these international tournaments, travelling the world and on the Team GB podium squad in Sheffield. With that pressure, I’ve turned it around and started enjoying my boxing.” Despite the disappointment, McGoldrick believes that the lessons he learnt from the defeat are invaluable. The 22-year-old has been determined to take the positives from it and he applied them in this year’s Welsh Championships. He said, “It’s been a blessing in disguise. At the time it was very hard to take, it took me a good year to get over it, it did affect me that bad. Going to the Commonwealth Games, getting gold and then coming back to Wales to get beaten, I went from on top of the world to back where I started from. I knew if I made the same mistake again, I’d get beaten. “I’m not sure if you noticed but when I was coming to the ring, I was enjoying it all. For me now, it’s about enjoyment. At the end of the day, boxing is something I love and there’s no need to put pressure on myself. This is boxing and I do it every day of my life.” It wouldn’t be the last time McGoldrick was disappointment though. Last October, McGoldrick suffered a shock upset to Venezuela’s Yoni Pachecho in the first round of the World Championships in Kazakhstan. However, it also wouldn’t be the last time the Welshman bounced back from defeat. In February, McGoldrick returned to ‘A Class’ tournament level with three wins and a gold medal at the Strandja Cup in Bulgaria which started a seven fight winning streak. He will fight next week at Finland’s GeeBee tournament before attempting to make history by defending his Commonwealth gold medal in July at Glasgow’s games and he couldn’t have found a better time to find form. He said, “Since the World Championships, I haven’t lost a fight. I said to myself, this is a sport which I love, nobody forces me to box, nobody forces me to get up at 7am to train. I do it because I love it, so why should I come here and put unnecessary pressure on myself? Fighting is the easy bit, this is showing everyone what I train for and I’m loving it. “The big focus now is the Commonwealth Games a couple of months away. I can’t think of a world fighter who has defended two world medals, I’m fully focused but I’m not putting pressure on myself, I’m going to enjoy everything about it. I’m going there and I’ll do my best, hopefully that’ll be another gold medal. “When I went to India, 20 of my friends and family came out. As soon as they started cheering, the crowd were too and it was like being at home really but in a hot place. Delhi was an amazing experience but Glasgow is going to be special, a home games. There’s a lot of people coming to support me and it’s going to be great. Welsh boxing is on the up and I can’t wait for it.”

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