Luton Shamrock boxer Viviana Tuccillo Castaldo took Ireland by storm recently when she claimed gold in the Celtic Box Cup.
A former Italian National champion, Tuccillio moved to the UK nearly five years ago where she went on to become a two weight English ABA champion in consecutive years.
Her career then came to a sudden halt when she broke her hand and had to have an operation which put her out for 18 months.
Tuccillo, who lives in the Stockingstone area, battled back to fitness and targeted the Celtic Box Cup for her comeback fight, reaching the final where she boxed the Irish champion Tina Donnolly.
She had her work cut out, giving away a massive height and reach difference.
The first round saw Tuccillo produce the much classier boxing though, catching the champion on the counter before producing her own attacks.
As the round progressed Donnolly resorted to leaning tactics using her size and weight to try and slow down the rampant Shamrock fighter but to no avail.
This pattern continued in round two with Tuccillo producing an intelligent boxing performance.
She remained on the front foot during the final round, closing out her opponent to seal a unanimous victory.
Afterwards, Tuccillo said: “I have to thank my club and my coach for all the hard work they put in as they’ve been with me every step of the way.
“It was a long time out of the ring but winning this fight made it all worthwhile.”
Shamrock trainer Mervyn Turner added: “I am so proud of Viviana, she worked so hard just to get to the tournament.
“While I feel she can box even better, to produce a performance like that in her first fight back against the champion was fantastic.
“The pressure is now off and I am sure there is so much more to come from her.”