WHEN boxers talk about the sacrifices they have to make, it goes well beyond just keeping fit, training correctly and living healthily.

Aside from the handful at the very top of the sport, professional fighters have the added pressures of selling tickets, self-promotion, travelling to training every day and missing out on spending time with your friends and family – all while doing a full-time job as well.

Mike McGoldrick, who has his third professional contest tomorrow night, has found all of that out since joining the paid ranks earlier this year and the Barrow light-heavyweight admits the biggest challenges have perhaps been outside the ring rather than in it.

“Things have changed from a fighting perspective because the rounds are longer, and you’ve got to work to pick your punches and pace yourself,” said McGoldrick.

“But the biggest changes for me and the hardest things have been travelling to Preston (to train at Johnney Roye’s gym) every day, which is a slog anyway and then you add in traffic, and the promotion side of things.

“You have to do a lot of self-promotion, sell a lot of tickets, drop tickets off late at night when you’re tired or pick money up from people. You’re paying for stuff in advance yourself hoping people will pay you and all that stuff doesn’t really come with the amateurs.

“All that’s been a real challenge for me, especially working full-time as well. You’re trying to juggle it all, but I suppose anyone would be like that in their first year and it’s a learning curve.”

Even preparations for his bout at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse were slightly disrupted due to a late change of opponent, with Zach Thompson now on a mandatory one-month lay-off after being stopped against Alex Dickinson on October 27.

Durable journeyman Lewis van Poetsch – a veteran of over 90 contests – provides McGoldrick’s opposition tomorrow night in the four-rounder instead.

Not that the 33-year-old is complaining about the harsh realities of the professional game.

Indeed, both him and Barrow’s English light-heavyweight champion Liam Conroy – who boxes on the same card on his return from injury – agree that is exactly how it should be.

“Me and Liam were talking about this the other day and it’s got to be hard because if it wasn’t, people would just have a go and see what they fancy themselves,” said McGoldrick.

“They wouldn’t go through all of those years as an amateur, do all that travelling, and put all that work in if it was something you could just drop out of. It has to be hard for it to be worthwhile, and if you win a title then it makes it all that much better.”