Jones joins Smith among Euro medals

Ebonie Jones

Ebonie Jones

Dave Birmingham, left, v David Miko. Picture: Neil Marshall

Former Pompey man handed dream title shot

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HEART OF PORTSMOUTH’S dynamic duo have both secured medals at the European Championships.

Reigning champion Ebonie Jones grabbed her place in the semi-final of Junior and Youth Women’s European Championships with victory over Russia’s Ljubox Pshenitsyna

They are one bout away from both boxing for gold. That is incredible.

Q Shillingford

The 17-year-old picked up a 51kg youth points success in Hungary with a bout which onlookers said was among the best of the day.

Team-mate Ivy-Jane Smith is already assured of a semi-final place at 52kg in the junior category after dumping out Ireland’s world silver medallist Niamh Earley.

That represents huge success for Heart of Portsmouth with Drayton golden girl Jones shining alongside the club’s new recruit. Head coach Q Shillingford is excited at the pair’s progress – and their landmark achievement.

Shillingford said: ‘We have two girls in the semi-finals of the European Championships – and they are guaranteed bronze medals. They are one bout away from both boxing for gold. That is incredible.

‘The England staff are raving about them and it shows the days of straight training they put in are paying off.’

Both Smith and Jones will now box for their final places today. Smith, 16, takes on Russian Valeria Rodionova while Jones will meet old foe Armenian Anush Grigoryan in her semi. Grigoryan picked up a split-decision success over Jones at the World Championships two years ago.

Shillingford said: ‘It was close last time, but Ebonie has made a lot of improvement. They both know what they have to do.’

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