NEWPORT boxer Sean McGoldrick is just one win away from a medal at Glasgow 2014 and three victories from making Commonwealth Games history.
The St Joseph’s fighter began his defence of the 56kg title he won at Delhi 2010 with a split decision victory over Australian Jackson Woods.
That puts him into a quarter-final against South Africa’s Ayabonga Sonjica with the winner guaranteed a medal.
And McGoldrick remains on course to become the first boxer ever to win gold at successive Commonwealth Games, but he had to work hard for the win over Woods.
“I had to really dig deep to get the win,” admitted McGoldrick, who took the verdict, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29.
"This is 2014 now and it’s a different year to 2010 so that’s in the past and I’m fully focused on this year.
“It’s a very tough weight category and if I have to dig deep like that for every fight then I will.
“He was like a bee in the first round, he was all over the place and I had to slow him down.
“A few body shots brought him down to my pace though and I found a way to win.
“There’s no pressure on me from Wales whatsoever,” added the 22-year-old.
“If anything I’m putting the pressure on myself. I don’t want to lose to any fighter, no matter who it is.”
McGoldrick was denied the chance of gaining revenge over Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi – the man who beat him in the 2010 final only to then fail a drugs test.
“I would rather have faced the Sri Lankan but that’s that,” he said.
“It’s not my place to say whether he should be here. Regardless of whether it was right or wrong he was here and I could have faced him in the next round but he didn’t get through.”
If he gets past Sonjica, McGoldrick is likely to face a tough test against Northern Ireland’s impressive Michael Conlan in the semi-final.
“That would be a good fight,” he said. “Conlan’s a good fighter and it would be a great fight.”
Fellow Welshman Ashley Williams also won his round of 16 light flyweight (49kg) bout against Juliano Maquina of Mozambique.
The soldier from Bridgend said: “I’m a soldier and a boxer. You've got to be confident to do both, and I was confident in the ring today.
"I've never been in Iraq or Afghanistan but I've been in training with boys that have been there and their courage is proper courage.”
In comparison, handling the pressure of representing his nation at the Commonwealth Games is easy for Williams.
“There's no pressure on me or any of the other Welsh boys,” he said. “We're just here to enjoy ourselves and do our best.”