HOP pair continue Euro quest

Ebonie Jones, left, and Ivy-Jane Smith

Ebonie Jones, left, and Ivy-Jane Smith

Greg Bridet, centre, has won the English Title belt

Bridet’s return breathes new life into his career

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EBONIE JONES continues the defence of her European title today.

And the Drayton starlet is joined by Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) team-mate Ivy-Jane Smith who is looking to advance her quest for success at the Junior and Youth Women’s European Championships.

Jones has a tricky assignment against the Russian champion this afternoon as she boxes at 51kg in the competition’s youth section.

And Smith is up against the Irish champion at 52kg in the junior competition in Hungary.

Jones, 17, opened her campaign with a unanimous preliminary round win over Azerbaijan’s Viktoria Ismaylova on Sunday.

And it was a similar story for Smith, 16, as she overcame Serbia’s Jelena Zekic in what was a scrappier affair.

They have to box every contest like it’s a final.

Q Shillingford

HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, has been given good reports back from England coaches on their efforts.

And he knows both boxers will be prepared for what they face today.

Shillingford said: ‘We’re happy with their performances so far, and, more importantly, England are happy with them.

‘Ebonie has a tough one now against the Russian champion.

‘Russia is one of the sport’s strongest nations and all of these girls are up there.

‘Ivy has the Irish champion so they are both going to have their hands full.

‘At this level all of the boxers know what they are doing.

‘But that’s why Ebonie and Ivy are well prepared.

‘They are tough, fit, strong and durable. They have to box every contest like it’s a final.’

A win for Jones today could then line her up for a return with the boxer who narrowly defeated her at the World Championships two years ago.

Armenia’s Anush Grigoryan edged a split decision then and Jones will be out to settle that score.

Shillingford said: ‘There is every chance she could meet the Armenian.

‘She’s a tough kid but Ebonie can’t look past her next contest.’

– JORDAN CROSS

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