Michaela Walsh won gold for Ireland with a brilliant defeat of Nimani Azize in the European Union Boxing Championships 54kg final.

Walsh wasn't even selected in the original squad but she wore down Azize in Italy to earn glory.

The Antrim woman got past Swedish fighter Helena Envall in the semi-final to set up another showdown with Azize; she defeated the German in an international round-robin three years ago.

Azize started strongly, attacking the Antrim woman with a couple of early flurries but Walsh grew in to the opening round.

She picked her opponent off with a couple of left jabs, weathering the initial storm with clever movement and a patient game plan.

Azize tired, growing frustrated as Walsh continued to make hay with her left. 

Roared on by her supporters, Walsh caught Azize with a nice combination in the last and then had her rocking on her heels with another big left.

Walsh raised her arms at the final bell in the knowledge that she'd done enough to take the victory.

Shortly afterwards, Kellie Harrington was forced to settle for silver in the 60kg final as she was beaten by Katie Taylor's Rio conqueror Mira Potkonen.

Harrington won World Championship silver at 64kg last year but has dropped down to one of the weights open for competition at the 2020 Olympics.

Much like in her victory over Taylor in Brazil, 36-year-old Potonen sought to swarm her Irish opponent from the off.

Harrington kept her distance well however, and consistently picked off the Finn on the counter, staggering her with a crunching left midway through the opening round.

Potkonen continued to come forward in the second and although Harrington's cleaner technique looked to be paying dividends she was knocked to the canvas in the closing seconds.

The Dubliner then started to tire into the third and was twice given a standing count by the referee after Potkonen landed heavy shots.

That round ultimately proved decisive as the judges opted for the Finn on a split decision.