Tuesday was a typically dull, drizzly December day, but that didn't stop newly crowned Canadian female featherweight boxing champion Sarah Pucek from sporting dark sunglasses.
Pucek wasn't trying to protect her eyes from the sun blanketed by the washed out sky.
No, she wore the shades to hide the matching half moons that coloured her skin grey and purple under both eyes.
The shiners were the telltale sign of Pucek's 10-round, unanimous decision over Montreal's Lucia Larcinese in the championship bout held Friday at Fraserview Centre in Vancouver.
"Pucek controlled the action with quicker crisper work to win most of the rounds," her manager Dave Allison reported.
While Pucek, 25, dominated most of the bout, winning on all three judge's scorecards, it wasn't a cakewalk by any stretch.
"I didn't think I fought my best," Pucek said. "She made it awkward for me."
The 40-year-old Larcinese proved to be an equal parts tough and unorthodox. She bulled ahead, often forehead first, and clashed noggins with her younger opponent early on.
The head clashes caused a sizeable bump on Pucek's forehead. The hematoma caused the pair of bruises under the City Boxing product's eyes.
Pucek, whose professional record improved to 5-2-1, gave her adversary loads of credit. Even though her mark dropped to 510, Larcinese battled hard to the final bell and never surrendered.
"It's crazy where your mind goes over 10 rounds," Pucek said. "I wanted to quit but I had to keep going."
It was nearing 10: 30 p.m. when the main event of the Pro-Am card billed as Femme Fatale got underway. At one point, Pucek lay on the floor of her dressing room, Allison's jacket draped over her to keep her warm. The excruciatingly long wait gave Pucek plenty of time to think about what lay ahead, lots of time for the nerves to bind up in her stomach.
"I was nervous, but it's a good thing to be nervous," Pucek said. "If you're not nervous, then you're not really in the right head space. I did feel probably more nervous because I was at home. For some reason, more pressure, I guess."
The bout behind her, Pucek is taking a brief hiatus from the squared circle.
"I don't even want to think about fighting right now. I'm just happy to be able to rest and eat what I want to eat," Pucek said Tuesday, three days after her title victory. "I also know I have a long way to go. I have the tools to be [one of the best]. I just have to keep working on my confidence. My confidence is the most important thing."
Pucek wasn't the only woman from Langley on the card.
For Kyla McKenzie, it was her first amateur boxing match and she was in tough against Action Boxing's Kate Robinson. The bout was very competitive and close, with the split decision going McKenzie's way.
Alisah McPhee made her pro debut.
McPhee has never lost an amateur bout, however she was facing Jaime Ward, the most accomplished amateur boxer in B.C. who sported a 1-0-0 mark as a pro. McPhee scaled in at 123 pounds and Ward was slightly heavier at 128 pounds, and was visibly bigger and stronger.
"The bout was close, however it was McPhee's speed and hard work that got her the close split decision," Allison noted.