SEAN McGoldrick says he has been drawing on his experience of fighting for Commonwealth Games medals ahead of tonight's first title shot in the pro ranks.

The Newport ace goes toe-to-toe with Cameroonian Thomas Essomba at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre with the vacant WBA continental bantamweight crown on the line.

Essomba (8-5), a former Commonwealth flyweight champion, is expected to give unbeaten McGoldrick (9-0) the toughest test of his career to date.

McGoldrick insists he is ready to take the next step on the ladder to bigger prizes, and the Welshman has been using the memories of his greatest moments as an amateur in preparation.

It is nearly a decade since an 18-year-old McGoldrick reached the 54kg final at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Despite losing to Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi, McGoldrick was retrospectively award gold after his opponent failed a drug test.

He came close to defending his title four years later at Glasgow 2014 but had to settle for bronze following a semi-final defeat by Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan.

“What I’m feeling now is definitely similar to how I felt before my medal fights at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“It’s good that I’ve had those experiences in the past because they can help me deal with the pressure a little bit better, and not just when it comes to the fight.

“It’s a massive occasion and a massive show, and it’s about whoever deals with the pressure and nerves the best.”

He added: “It would be nice to have a new belt to go with my gold and bronze medals!

“It’s a really nice belt. I went online to see what it looked like as soon as I found out we were fighting for it.

“It would be amazing to win it.”

Not only is tonight’s encounter going to be McGoldrick’s first chance of a title in the paid code, it is also his first 10-rounder.

“We both know we’re in for a difficult night and whoever does come out on top will have worked really hard for it,” he added.

“I’ve got a great group of supporters coming up, and with it being my first 10-rounder, I’ll need them to keep me going through any difficult patches I have.

“I’m confident and excited for the fight, and the title being on the line has given me that extra motivation to get the win.”