England calling for Euro-star Jones

Ebonie Jones
Ebonie Jones
Lucas Ballinghall, left, faces Michael Dehamnia in a featherweight contest Picture: Ian Hargreaves

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Ebonie Jones continued her rise to the top after being selected for the European Union Amateur Boxing Championships.

The hugely-talented Heart of Portsmouth boxer has been called up for England for the event in Hungary at the end of the month.

And she geared up for that by joining HOP team-mates Ben Bendle and Greg Bridet at England and Great Britain training camps last weekend.

Jones impressed national bosses after travelling to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

That follows a regional training day in Aldershot where she caught the eye of coaches.

Now she is continuing her preparations as she hopes to get among the medals at her 50kg weight at international level.

HOP head coach Q Shillingford paid tribute to Jones and the development she has made.

Shillingford believes the 15-year-old has progressed both in and out of the ring and that’s a major factor in her selection.

And he is confident there will be more boxers like Jones to come from the talent in Portsmouth.

He said: ‘Ebonie’s commitment and dedication can not be faltered.

‘Jones deserves all that she gets. She is a great role model for the club, a well-mannered and polite young person.

‘All the boxers in the club look up to her and she sets a great example of how an elite athlete should train, eat and compete.

‘We’re very proud of Ebonie’s election for England in the European Championship. Jones is a great example of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

‘She deserves the call-up for all of her hard work.

‘It’s fantastic news for her and Charter Academy have to be thanked for supporting an elite athlete in her quest for international honours.

‘She has only just turned 15 but has matured so much.

‘The England coaches have been very impressed with conditioning, technical ability and mindset.

‘They are quietly confident of what she can achieve, as we are.

‘The feedback has been good, now Ebonie has to concentrate on producing in Hungary.

‘There’s more boxers to come like Ebonie, too. There’s so much talent in this city. There’s more champions and internationals out there. I really believe that.’

Heart of Portsmouth were also recently visited by ABA chief-executive Mark Abberley.

He came to the club to see the rapid progress they are making and the thriving link-up the club has with Charter Academy.

The boxing educational programme continues to see the sport on the curriculum at the school.

That is now in its fourth year, with the link-up between school and boxing club impressing Abberley.

Principal of Charter Academy, Dame Sharon Hollows, has seen first hand the impact that has had on students.

Hollows said: ‘The inclusion of amateur boxing to Charter Academy has been fantastic. The sport has had a positive impact on our students.’