News that Welsh boxer, Sean McGoldrick, has joined the professional ranks has rekindled many memories among the boxing fraternity in Donegal.
The son of a Cashelard, Ballyshannon man, Sean has been to the fore of Welsh and British amateur boxing for seven or eight years, winning a Commonwealth gold medal as an 18-year-old.
He has been a member of the British High Performance Unit for a number of years and has performed at the very highest level.
Now 24 years old, McGoldrick feels the time is right for him to make the step up to the professional ranks and, no doubt, the boxing fraternity here in Donegal will be keeping a very close eye on his progress.
“I am hoping to have my first professional bout just after Christmas. The exact details have yet to be completed,” said Sean, speaking to the Democrat this week.
His father, Liam McGoldrick, as well as many others from the Ballyshannon area, emigrated to Wales where there was plenty of work in the steel fixing industry.
But while Liam and his Tipperary-born wife, Mary, settled in Newport, the connection with Ballyshannon was never severed.
“We came to Ballyshannon many times during the summer and dad has now a home in Rossnowlagh which we can return to at any time,” says Sean.
WON DONEGAL TITLE
Indeed, Sean has not just spent holidays in Donegal, he has boxed here as well. He was a member of the Finn Valley Boxing Club as he won a Donegal Youths title, which was remembered this week by Donegal’s Mr. Boxing, Peter O’Donnell.
“He defeated a lad from St. Joseph’s, Derry, by the name of Carolan,” said O’Donnell. “I can’t remember his first name, but the fight was in Letterkenny.
“I would have seen Sean boxing from when he was very young; when we took teams over to Newport. The McGoldricks would be a great boxing family. An older brother, Liam, boxed Ray Moylette of Westport in a tournament in the Finn Valley at light welterweight (64kg).
“We had a great boxing relationship with Newport over the years and got to know Sean through that.
“I think all involved in boxing in Donegal would wish him well and will be watching out for him,” said O’Donnell.
The Welsh boxer will be in good company in the world of pro boxing as he is under the same management as Belfast pair Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.
“I would be a weight below Michael and one above Paddy,” said Sean. “The MGM management is the best in Europe in pro boxing. I have been involved in promotional work since turning pro and hope that all goes well,” says Sean.
“I was an amateur for a long time. It is a big decision to turn pro, but I have got six years of great experience.”
While he's moving from the amateur ranks, he is not changing coach. “My coach Tony Boag has been with me for 15 years and he is still going to be with me in the pro ranks. It is great to have someone there; someone who I can trust.”
The targets for Sean are being set by his management company, but he hopes to box for a British or European title in the very near future.
Apart from mum and dad, Sean has one sister (Mairead) and three other brothers, Liam, Tomas and Cian.
No doubt the McGoldrick family circle in the Ballyshannon area will be keeping a close eye on his career going forward.