Ivy climbs to the top of the tree

Ivy-Jane Smith, centre, with Heart of Portsmouth coaches, from left, Paul Kapnisi, Colin Brown and Q Shillingford
Ivy-Jane Smith, centre, with Heart of Portsmouth coaches, from left, Paul Kapnisi, Colin Brown and Q Shillingford
Billy Streets

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IVY-JANE SMITH rose to the occasion as she claimed England Boxing Youth Championship glory.

And Moneyfields’ Owen Hooper was celebrating, too, after making the final of the national competition in Rotherham.

Smith, from Heart of Portsmouth (HOP), overcame Lowestoft’s experienced Emma Dolan at 54kg, before toppling Luton’s Tysie Gallagher to take the national title.

That means the 17-year-old will now represent England at the Great Britain Championships in Wales this month.

HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, lauded the versatility and quality of Smith’s performance.

He said: ‘Ivy put on a great exhibition of boxing as an art.

‘She has worked hard and showed her quality.

‘We are all very proud of her.

‘This is about supporting young people to achieve their dreams.’

Hooper overcame national champ Brandon Jones at 81kg to march into the final.

He beat the Wayne Elcock’s Boxing Academy talent on a split decision, before losing to Earlsfield’s Omar Augustine in the final.

Hooper was the only male boxer from across the Southern Counties region to make it to the last stage.

Moneyfields coach, Colin Hooker, said: ‘Owen did well to reach the final where he faced a very awkward boxer.

‘He performed well.

‘The competition at the final was very tough and everyone at Moneyfields is proud of Owen.’

Full report n Page 63