Former Commonwealth gold medallist Sean McGoldrick is sparring world champions Lee Selby and Jamie McDonnell ahead of letting loose his frustration in Gloucester on May 12.
McGoldrick (4-0-KO2) had been due to box on last month's Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard in Cardiff in front of an ocean of Welsh fans only for scheduling issues to deny him.
The promising 26-year-old bantamweight admits the disappointment was hard to take but ultimately reacted by throwing himself back into sparring and will now showcase his work on the undercard of Akeem Ennis Brown’s WBC world youth title shot.
McGoldrick said: “I had a couple of days off to recover then a couple of days of normal training and then I was back sparring. I’ve been working with Lee Selby and Jamie McDonnell and learning so much.
“Lee is a bit heavier than me and Jamie is so big for our division so it’s been a real learning experience. I’ve provided them with good sparring too so hopefully it’s a mutually beneficial situation.
“Physically I was fine after Cardiff but the biggest battle was keeping my discipline psychologically. I knew MTK Global would sort me out with something fast and now I have my target.
“I can’t wait to get in there in Gloucester and show what I can do. Akeem is a brilliant fighter too and I’ve seen him spar in our gym. He’s so tricky and has a great jab.
"We’re going to give all the fans a great night."
One time GB amateur standout Sam Maxwell has no cause to fear any of the runners or riders in Britain’s white hot super-lightweight division.
Five years ago, the MTK managed Merseysider twice dipped between the ropes to confront the Ukraine’s formidable dual Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachenko over five rounds and remained vertical throughout.
Now unbeaten in six as a pro, the straight-shooting stylist is chasing ‘Loma’s’ tail in the commercial code.
You were born in Hackney, east London before moving to Prescot (eight miles east of Liverpool city centre)when you were eight. Must’ve been tough growing up on Merseyside with a Cockney accent.
Not really. I grew up in a good area surrounded by the right people. When you’re young you have to prove yourself but I was basically a mellow kid, a bit of a nerd. From 11, I was always training at the boxing gym rather than out on the streets.
Remind us of your amateur credentials.
I had about 150 bouts and won around 120. In addition to my (2014) Commonwealth Games bronze, I won the National Universities gold, two Senior ABAs and a British title, beating (2016 GB Olympian)Joey Cordina in the final. I also beat (undefeated pros) Josh Kelly and Josh Leather.
I spent five years on the Team GB set-up in Sheffield. I travelled all around the world, Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Morocco, Algeria, Brazil and made some amazing friends who I still communicate with on a daily basis.
At the 2012 Olympic qualifiers, I beat the number one seed Albert Selimov from Russia – the only man to defeat Vasyl Lomachenko in almost 400 amateur bouts – but then lost to the Turk in Turkey. That was gutting. I also had 13 bouts in the WSB during two seasons with the GB Lionhearts and won about half of them.
It was in the World Series of Boxing that you twice swapped leather with a certain V.Lomachenko from the Ukraine!
Yeah. First fight I was a bit overwhelmed. I was supposed to fight someone else but there was a ‘pull out’ and ‘Loma’ was thrown on me at short notice. I did much better second time and it was a great experience. I’ve always got that on my CV.
He’s just an unbelievable talent; his feints, his angles, his intelligence. He’s always a few steps ahead of you, knows your movements before you do. He just destroys opponents mentally. That’s why they all ‘No Mas’!
I went 10 rounds with him and got paid about 400 quid for the two fights combined. You could put a good few noughts on the end of that if we ever meet in the pros. I definitely wanna make it a trilogy (laughs)!
You’ve made a storming start to your pro career since debuting in October 2016, winning six straight with five victims failing to finish.
The WSB acclimatizes you to fighting five rounds at a high pace against class opposition. You learn to save your energy, use the jab, avoid the heads.
I know from the pads that I have the power to hurt anyone with my long jab and back hand. I stopped barely a handful in the amateurs. However, it’s very hard to land a clean strong shot against the top amateurs whereas, in the pros, almost every shot connects with power. George (Vaughan, his veteran coach)has taught me not to be so bouncy and awkward. He’s really got me believing in myself.
You’re already 29 so might be required to make your move quicker than most. What’s the SP?
I’m with a great promoter in Frank Warren. Each fight his team ensure I face a better opponent yet I’m dealing with them and getting a bit more hype each time.
The domestic light-welter division is littered with talent like Josh Taylor who beat me in the (2014) Commonwealth Games semis plus Jack Catterall, Tyrone Nurse, Ohara Davies, Glenn Foot and Josh Leather. I believe I’m a very good boxer and a stiff puncher myself. There’s loads of entertaining fights to be made down the line.
There’s no need to rush but it’s great to see so many of my Team GB squad mates doing so well and fighting for titles before they’ve reached ten pro fights. Hopefully, it won’t be long before I’m joining them. I rate myself just as highly.
What can the packed Belfast crowd expect to see from Sam Maxwell on Saturday night?
The Irish fans are amazing so it’s crucial I look good before such a knowledgeable crowd. Hopefully, they’ll see a technically sound boxer, with a tight guard, good feet, a sharp jab and good power in my straight right hand.
I was in the ExCel (Arena) for the London Olympics when Katie Taylor was boxing and it was just unreal, a sea of green. Frampton is their favourite star so hopefully I can get on before him and really savour the atmosphere. I can’t wait.
I always train to do the rounds but if I clip ‘em clean and see they’re hurt, I won’t back off. My fight’s scheduled for six so hopefully I can showcase my skills, get four good rounds under my belt to bank for later in my career, then put ‘em away in style in the fifth or sixth.
Maxwell fights on a huge night of boxing at the SSE Arena in Belfast topped by the WBO Interim Featherweight World Title clash between two-weight Word Champion Carl Frampton MBE and four-weight World Champion Nonito Donaire.
WBO Bantamweight Champion of the World Zolani Tete also features as he makes the second defence of his title against former three-time World Champion Omar Andres Narvaez after his Word recording-breaking KO win at the SSE Arena in November.
WBO European Champion Conrad Cummings and Irish champion Luke Keeler go toe to toe in what promises to be an all-action Middleweight affair while Tyrone McKenna and Light-Welterweight rival Anthony Upton clash in an exciting all-Belfast match-up; with Belfast's Marco McCullough keeping busy after Jono Carroll's injury forced him to pull out of their IBF Intercontinental showdown.
Undefeated prospects David Oliver Joyce, Steven Ward, Lewis Crocker, Tyrone McCullagh, Troy Williamson, Ryan Hatton and Alex Dickinson complete an unmissable card.
A very limited number of tickets for Frampton v Donaire are available to purchase from the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com and 0044(0)28 9073 9074. Prices range from £40 (tier) to £400 (inner-ring hospitality).
This past Friday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, junior lightweight O'Shaquie Foster got a career boosting win as he defeated Frank De Alba via eight-round majority decision in a crowd-thrilling fight.
The six-bout card was promoted by King's Promotions.
Foster got off to an early lead, as he featured an accurate straight hand. De Alba got back in the fight as he decided to stand toe-toe with Foster, and on many occasions, he gave as good or even better then he received. Neither fighter took a backward step, which was much to the delight to the crowd that congregated at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The furious action continued, De Alba began to leak some blood from his nose in the fifth frame.
Foster of Houston, Texas won his third bout in a row as he took two cards by scores of 79-73 and 78-74, while a 3rd card read event at 76-76.
Foster, 131.2 lbs of Houston, Texas is now 13-2. De Alba, 130.1 lbs of Reading, PA is 22-3-2.
In the explosive co-feature, Luther Smith stopped Elvin Sanchez 55 seconds into the 2nd round of their scheduled six-round cruiserweight bout.
Sanchez struck in the 1st round when he dropped Smith with a left to the head. In round two, Smith came back to send Sanchez to the canvas with a right hook. Smith ended the fight when he landed a straight left that sent Sanchez to the canvas, and the fight was immediately stopped.
Smith, 199.1 lbs of Bowie, MD is 10-2 with 9 knockouts. Sanchez, 198.7 lbs of Paterson NJ is 8-4-1.
Martino Jules remained undefeated with a four-round unanimous decision over Vincent Jennings in a featherweight bout.
Jules, 128 lbs of Allentown, PA won by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice to raise his unblemished mark to 4-0. Jennings, 126.7 lbs of Grand Rapids, MI is 5-5.
James Robinson took a six-round majority decision from Greg Jackson in a junior middleweight bout.
Robinson 156.7 lbs of York, PA won by scores of 59-55 twice and 57-57, and is now 5-9-4. Jackson, 150.9 lbs of Philadelphia, PA is 8-6-1.
In a battle of undefeated welterweights, Anthony Sonnier won a six-round unanimous decision over Jesus Perez.
In round three, Sonnier scored two knockdowns. The 1st knockdown came from a flush right hand. The 2nd knockdown came from a hard left. In round five, Perez was bleeding from his nose.
Sonnier, 143.2 lbs of Seattle won by scores of 59-53 and 58-54 twice to raise his record to 4-0. Perez, 142.7 lbs of Reading, PA is 3-1.
Craig Callaghan and Cesar Soriano Beruman battled to a six-round majority draw in a welterweight fight.
Despite bleeding from around both eyes, Beruman was able to get inside and land some solid punches, while Callaghan had success from the outside.
Scores were 58-56 for Callaghan, and 57-57 twice.
Callaghan, 152 lbs of Houston, Texas via Liverpool, ENG is 17-1-1. Beruman, 151.6 lbs of Iztacaloc, MEX is 28-37-3,