THE FIRST three minutes of Sean McGoldrick’s fight this morning will hold the key as to whether he heads home to Newport with a gold or a silver Commonwealth Games medal according to his coach Tony Borg.
The St Joseph’s Boxing Club bantamweight is the underdog for his clash with Sri Lanka’s Manju Wanniarachchi in Delhi.
But that is a tag that won’t bother the 18-year-old after the way that he secured his place in the final.
McGoldrick produced the shock of the tournament to beat Olympic bronze medallist Bruno Julie 2-1 on Monday, grabbing an early lead and then frustrating his opponent from Mauritius with a watertight defence.
Borg, who spoke to his protege on the phone yesterday, believes more of the same is required against a Sri Lankan opponent who will look to make his experience count from the first bell.
“I won’t be surprised if he come at Sean because the first round is so important,” said Borg. “Sean just has to stick to his tactics and not get frustrated by the scoring or the referee.
“If it is going well then he just has to stay back and do exactly what he did on Monday.
“Sean is obviously going to be nervous because it is a position he has never been in but he has done fantastically.
“And make no mistake, Sean is determined to come back with a gold rather than silver despite already exceeding expectations.
“We were a bit dismayed at the gym when he wasn’t selected for the Commonwealth Boxing Championships in Delhi earlier in the year but he has forced his way in and proven his quality.
“Sean is a really good, hard-working kid and he will get a massive welcome when he comes back whatever the colour of the medal.”