Olympic inspiration for Portsmouth ‘trailblazer’

Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, left, and Ebonie Jones
Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, left, and Ebonie Jones

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Ebonie Jones’ World Championship dreams have become a reality.

And Heart of Portsmouth’s EU champion has geared up for taking on the planet’s best by stepping into the ring with Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams.

Jones will travel to Bulgaria next Friday as her sensational success story continues.

The 15-year-old will go for glory at 50kg in the Amateur International Boxing Association junior and youth event.

And the relentless talent has been tasked with making a big impact at world level.

Jones has already picked up a national and European title in a wonderful year of success.

Now she will step up another level in Albena – and has been backed to take that elevation in her stride.

The competition arrives after Jones yesterday travelled to the home of Great Britain boxing at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

That was for a special moment in the Charter Academy student’s life as she sparred for six rounds with Adams.

It was an unforgettable landmark which underlines the potential Jones possesses.

Now her coach, Q Shillingford, is backing her to make a strong impact at world level.

Shillingford said: ‘Ebonie is fully ready for her shot at the world title.

‘She has put the work in and is well prepared. Ebonie’s fitness is second to none.

‘She is a trailblazer. She is a trailblazer for Portsmouth, females and amateur boxing.

‘I’ve no doubt she has the talent to do well. She is going out there and will give her best.

‘She is excited but has her feet on the ground.

‘We’re working on doing the basics very well and it shows her maturity to be boxing at the level she is at her age.

‘Ebonie has moved steadily forward and is now on the world stage. We are all very proud of her.

‘She isn’t going to make up the numbers, either. She wants to make a big impression.’

Shillingford believes sparring with Adams is exactly the kind of preparation Jones needs ahead of competing in the worlds.

He said: ‘For Ebonie to win a world title she needs to believe in herself.

‘You need fitness, strength, ability and belief.

‘Nicola Adams is one of her heroes but she wasn’t overawed by it.

‘It’s the kind of preparation she needed for an event of this size.’