HEART OF PORTSMOUTH (HOP) are celebrating double Euro joy.
Ebonie Jones and Ivy-Jane Smith have both been called up to the Junior and Youth Women’s European Championships later this month.
We’re expecting big thingsQ Shillingford
The duo will travel to Hungary from August 15 to represent their country at the competition.
Jones will be defending her title as she competes in the youth category at 51kg.
The 17-year-old memorably stormed to success in Italy last year – to add her string of national and international honours.
There was disappointment at world level earlier this year, however, when she was knocked out of the AIBA Women’s Junior & Youth World Championship at the quarter-final stage.
The Drayton starlet has shown her resolve after that, though, and has been gaining some strong sparring to ready her for action.
Among them has been the likes of Lynn’s Ellie Scotney and Harrow’s Shelley Sweeney, who are also taking part in Keszthley.
HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, knows Jones will be ready to protect her Euro crown.
He said: ‘Ebonie’s defending her title and it’s exciting stuff.
‘She’s looking strong and working hard as ever.
‘Ebonie has bounced back from the worlds and got over that.
‘She’s fully focussed and her training has gone well.
‘It’s all great development for her working towards senior level.
‘We had boxers come down who are taking part in the European Championships.
‘They came from Lynn, Harrow and Palmer’s Boxing Academy.
‘They did 12 rounds straight boxing against each other.
‘Ebonie also went to spar Kim Shannon in her gym near Manchester, who lost in the senior final to GB’s Lisa Whiteside.
‘She did really well against a top senior boxer. That is brilliant preparation.’
Smith has arrived at HOP from Bournemouth, and quickly made her mark.
The 16-year-old will box at 52kg at the Euros and has been putting in the hard hours training in readiness for competition.
Both Jones and Smith will attend a pre-tournament training camp in Sheffield before the action starts.
Shillingford said: ‘It’s Ivy’s first crack at the Europeans.
‘She’s been with us with four months or so.
‘When we took her back up to England recently they commented on the improvement in her already.
‘She’s really putting in the work. She trained for 12 days straight when she first came into the gym.
‘Ivy’s a tall, long girl so we’ve got her boxing.
‘Both girls have been sparring and training every day. ‘We’re expecting big things.’