PEOPLE in Pill, Newport, are backing local hero Sean McGoldrick to retain his 2010 Commonwealth boxing title.

McGoldrick had a split-decision win yesterdayover in his last-16 fight with Australian Jackson Woods.

In 2010’s Delhi Games, McGoldrick was retroactively awarded the gold medal after it emerged his opponent Manju Wanniarachchi had taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Junior Borg, 28, a trainer at St Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club, said: “He first went to the Commonwealth Games as an 18-year-old kid. We knew what he was capable of but he did more than what was expected of him.”

Now bantamweight McGoldrick has more experience, his trainers and friends believe that he has the ability to can go all the way again.

St Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club, where McGoldrick trains, has become a hotbed for world-class boxing talent, and the presence of high level achievement is felt across the community.

Pat Tobin, who works at nearby pub The Picton Arms said: “I’ve known Sean since he was a kid. He comes in with his father occasionally. He only has a soft drink though because of the boxing. He’s a lovely lad and people look up to him.”

Professional featherweight boxer and number two in the world Lee Selby, who also trains at St Joseph’s, said: “I started when I was eight years old and now I’m 27. I was inspired by the professionals and now I’m doing the same thing, so I’m sure Sean is an inspiration to youngsters here. Sean is a lovely guy, so down to earth. If you speak to him you wouldn’t think he was a fighter.”