SEAN McGoldrick says he is down but definitely not out after suffering the first defeat of his professional career, a “bump in the road” the Welshman has vowed to bounce back from.

The 27-year-old had a bad day at the office in Liverpool last Friday, losing to Thomas Essomba and missing out on the vacant WBA continental bantamweight crown.

McGoldrick made a swift exit from Merseyside following the fight, returning to hometown Newport and putting himself through a digital detox by switching his phone off until Thursday.

Former St Joseph's favourite McGoldrick, who is based in Manchester when training with Jamie Moore, said there were no excuses for his performance, but believes the experience will make him stronger.

“Obviously I’m still gutted,” he said. “I’m disappointed I didn’t perform to my best. I definitely have no excuses, I just didn’t perform as I know I can.

“You can kind of accept it if you perform at your best and get beaten by a better man, but the fact I didn’t perform at my best is what’s gutting.

“If you’d asked me a couple of days ago what it meant to lose, I would have said it was the worst thing in the world.

“I turned my phone off for a few days because I just wanted to ignore the world and I wanted it to go away.

“When I did turn it back on there were hundreds of messages of support, and it made me realise that there are worse things in this world than losing a fight.

“I had messages from all the people who matter to me, like friends and family, and the promoter Eddie Hearn and my management.

“Even though it was a negative situation it’s important that the people around you remain positive, and that has helped me a lot since the fight.

“I’ve obviously got to go through a rebuilding process, and I’ve got to put right whatever did go wrong.

“It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a bump in the road to where I want to go.”

He continued: “I will bounce back from this and come back stronger.

“I’ve already got that hunger to prove to everyone, and myself, that I’ve got what I need to go far in boxing.

“I may be a bit down right now, but I’m certainly not out. It’s about how I come back from it, how I respond.

“As far as I’m concerned, any criticism will be deserved because I didn’t box well.

“My trainer said the first few rounds were nip and tuck, then there was a head clash which seemed to put me off my game for a couple of rounds.

“He said I came back into it in rounds nine and 10, but I didn’t feel I was in it. How you feel and how you look are two different things.

“Everyone who knows me knew I wasn’t at my best, it was just one of those off days. I wasn’t on the ball from the first round, I wasn’t sharp enough.

“I was fully focused, fit and everything had gone perfectly in training, so maybe the pressure got to me.”

Going into the contest, McGoldrick knew Cameroonian Essomba was a real threat to his unblemished record of nine straight victories.

He added: “You put this tag of invincibility on yourself, you think you’re invincible, so it’s a really hard pill to swallow when you do lose.

“I’m trying to stand up to it and take it on the chin, but it is very hard to do.

“I want to give full credit to Thomas Essomba.

“He boxed the perfect fight. It was probably his best night in the ring.

“You need to be 100 per cent on your game against someone like him because he’s proven at the highest level.

“I need a break physically and mentally then I’ll get back to the gym and look to right the wrongs.

“That’s what is burning inside me, that someone has beaten me.

“I’d love the opportunity to fight him again, but if I don’t learn from the last one then the same thing will happen.

The support McGoldrick received on the night and since his setback is something that means a lot to him.

He said: “I’ve got good people around me. The professional game can be a lonely place, so I appreciate the support I get.

“I’m gutted for everyone who came to see me fight. I want to apologise to them.

“Their support has been amazing. They are not just there for me when I’m winning.”