That Donna Barr is even competing at this stage, she says, is a ‘bonus’ – but the Illies Golden Gloves boxer won’t content herself with a moral victory this weekend.
For the last two-and-a-half years, Barr – who previously boxed out of the Twin Towns ABC – has been dogged by a succession of injuries.
Barr has been through the mill with knee, hip and neck issues.
On Saturday night, however, Barr lines up in the Ulster Elite light-flyweight final at the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
“Mentally you have to pick yourself up all the time,” Barr says of her time in recovery, ahead of a joust with Chloe Fleck, from Canal BC.
“It was like Christmas going back in there to the ring again. Nerves are good and the energy just drove me on.
“Just to get to enter the Championships and not get pulled out is a bonus at this stage.
“I’ve had a bad time with injuries and I’m blessed to be here. I had surgery on my hip and was told I wouldn’t be back until February. This is a big bonus.”
Barr underwent hip surgery in September but is back in the game again – and bidding to make up for some lost time.
Barr, who competed at the 2016 World Championships, lost an Irish Elite final to Lauren Hogan in 2015.
Next month, she hopes to return to the big stage again and get her hands on a prize that have been in her crosshairs for some time now.
She said: “The Irish title is the big picture. That’s what my eyes are set on, 100 per cent.
“That’s all I want. It means everything to me and that’s all I think about. I want to be firing on all cylinders for February.”
Barr defeated Emma Feeney from Virginia in her semi-final at the Docker’s Club.
Fleck, who lost to Kristina O’Hara in the last Ulster Elite final, will provide a stern test for Barr.
The Illies puncher said: “It was good to get the ring rust off and the confidence up.
“Chloe has been in a good few title fights. She’s a tough girl and will be a tough opponent.”