Cathy McAleer fell to the first defeat of her short professional boxing career last night when she lost on points to unfancied Romanian Gabriella Mezei at the UK's first drive-in show at the Sheffield Arena.
McAleer's opponent had won only 10 of her 39 previous fights but she deserved her victory, the referee scoring the four-round contest 39-37.
The 42-year-old Belfast bantamweight, back in the ring after a 10-month hiatus due to Covid-19, seldom showed the form that had seen her win all four of her previous fights.
"I found it really tough out there and it's hard to put a finger on just why but it was difficult in the cold conditions and it took me a while to really get started," said McAleer.
"It was only by the third round that I felt I was able to box anywhere near my potential and it is very disappointing after putting in so much hard work in the build-up to the fight.
"Having said that, it was a privilege to be able to take part in such an historic occasion and all credit to everyone who was involved in putting the show on.
"It was just a pity I couldn't have performed better after what has been a tough year.
"It's been very stop-start over the past 12 months with three fights being cancelled due to Covid but, hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for me and the team I have around me."
Managed by veteran promoter Kellie Maloney, McAleer will take some time off now as she weighs up her future plans.
"Kellie will sit down with me and my coach, John Edwards, and discuss our next stage of the journey and I am very lucky to have such a good team behind me," she added.