Dynamite duo ready to answer England's call
HEART OF PORTSMOUTH'S dynamic duo are fired up to deliver on the international stage.
Kerry Davis and Xian Blackman-Price have been given the nod to represent their country in Rotherham next weekend.
And the pair have been backed to rise to the occasion at the GB Elite Three-Nations’ Championships.
Davis could potentially face a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the shape of Welsh fighter Lauren Price.
They both could meet at 75kg after Davis won the England Boxing Elite Championships earlier this month.
And Blackman-Price was given the call by her country after she advanced to the semi-finals of the same competition at 69kg.
Both could face two fights in as many days when the draw is made with the top Welsh and Scottish boxers.
It’s been a memorable season for Blackman-Price after winning the British Universities and Colleges Sport Championships.
Now the challenge for the 22-year-old is to produce more of the same.
The boxers’ coach, Q Shillingford, feels the pair will be ready for what they face.
He said: ‘It’s unbelievable we’ve got two girls going for gold.
‘Xian is over the moon to be selected.
‘She won the BUCS Championships, lost in the semi-finals of the elites and has travelled to Ireland to get better bouts.
‘Xian’s a schoolteacher, too, but I don’t think the pupils will answer back to Miss!
‘She’s really lifting her game and it’s great to see.
‘Kerry has also had an exceptional season.
‘She could potentially be facing a Commonwealth Games champion.
‘But this is the level Kerry is aspiring to and that is what all the hard work, training and development is all about.
‘Both girls are on weight, fit, strong and ready to rock and roll.’
The latest international action for Heart of Portsmouth follows Sonny Driscoll winning the junior section of the same competition last weekend.
Shillingford knows further success would represent a flying period for his club.
He added: ‘Everything is going really well and it’s been an exceptional year for the club as a whole.
‘From our club shows to bout to the championships we’ve seen boxers shining and improving all the time.’
- JORDAN CROSS