Drayton ace out to conquer world

Heart of Portsmouth's Ebonie Jones
Heart of Portsmouth's Ebonie Jones
  • European champion begins world quest this weekend
  • Jones has been sparring with reigning champ
  • City behind Heart of Portsmouth ace
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EBONIE JONES has her sights set on conquering the world from this weekend.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) sensation is ready to begin her quest for victory at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championships.

Jones has flown out to Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, to face the cream of the planet’s boxing talent in her category.

The competition will see more than 50 countries competing, as the 17-year-old aims to deliver world success for the first time.

Jones knows the standard will be fearsome as she looks to add to her stellar CV, which already includes European, EU, two Nations’ Cups, GB and multinational titles.

The Drayton ace has already been to China for a pre-competition training camp.

There Jones took on reigning world champ at 51kg, Yuan Chang, in sparring to sharpen her skills

HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, believes that would have been a useful education for his charge.

Jones said: ‘She’s been out in China in a preparation camp which has helped her to get acclimatised.

‘The good news is she’s been able to spar with Chang – the girl who won the World Championships at her weight last year.

‘We didn’t want to give too much away, but at the same time, wanted to pick up what we can for when they hopefully meet.

‘It’s nice to square up. She can feel her speed and power and learn.

‘At the same time, she will be doing the same, though.

‘They were videoing the sparring with Ebonie, but it will all change when they get in there for real.

‘Because she’s the world champion, Ebonie will be the underdog – the pressure is taken off her.

‘Ebonie knows what it will take to win – and is ready to give it everything she’s got.’

Jones has undergone a punishing schedule so far this year, as she gears up for her world opening.

But Shillingford feels there will be plenty left in the tanks in Taiwan.

He said: ‘Ebonie flew out last Thursday and rest is scheduled into her programme. She’s had the best preparations ever for an international tournament.

‘She had three bouts at the England championships then there was the GB Championships, Nations’ Cup and boxing in Ireland.

‘Ebonie knows about rest being as good as a workout and knows when to have a rest day and use her downtime.’

Shillingford explained Jones will go into the worlds knowing she has the backing of her city – and support of her club.

He said: ‘She has been training hard in Portsmouth. Her dad has been taking her running and she has been sparring hard in Portsmouth.

‘She’s been down at the pool and track at the Mountbatten Centre.

‘We’ve been running at Victoria Park – and the local people have been cheering her on.

‘It’s a great experience for her. She has that feeling the city is behind her.

‘Coach Colin Williams works closely with Ebonie and the boxers – Robbie Patterson, Morgan Fewings, Zoe Woodley and Angela Burden – have been pushing her in sparring.

‘Getting Ebonie ready for the championships has been a team effort.’