Heart of Portsmouth ace aiming to become world champion
Ivy-Jane Smith has been backed to make her mark at world level.
The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) ace is aiming to become the city’s first amateur world boxing champion at the AIBA Youth Women’s World Championships.
Smith is part of a six-strong English squad looking to make an impact in the event which begins in India on Sunday.
They have been preparing at a training camp in Delhi before arriving in Guwahati on Saturday for the weigh-in ahead of action.
The 18-year-old competes at 54kg as she aims to make her mark against the best emerging female talent on the planet.
And the switch-hitter has been backed to impress as she competes on the big stage before moving up to senior level.
HOP head coach Q Shillingford believes Smith has both the skills and mindset to make a mark.
He said: ‘Ivy’s been training really, really hard.
‘She’s on weight and we are so happy with all the preparations she’s had.
‘We’ve had Commonwealth and European champions but never a world champion or even a medallist. That would be amazing.
‘To get a medal at the World Championships would be something else.
‘She’s been to the training camp out there to get acclimatised.
‘If you go all the way you’ll be expected to fight five times, so you have to be in tip-top shape.
‘This is her last year at youth level.
‘She’s at the top age in her category and at the right weight.
‘Ivy takes her boxing very, very seriously. She trains hard and is committed.
‘She’s a switch-hitter who moves between orthodox and southpaw easily. She is a universal type of boxer.
‘Being a box-fighter helps her, too. She’s tough, strong, durable and will cause anyone problems.’
Smith has undertaken thorough preparations to ensure she’s as sharp as possible for her first opponent.
She will find out their identity on Saturday before getting down to action.
Shillingford explained the training Smith has undertaken will ensure she is prepared for whoever is in her way.
He said: ‘There have been one-to-ones in the gym and she’s had all the sparring she can at our club.
‘All the club members have been pulling together and giving her rounds.
‘England have been holding camps she has been attending as well as the GB camps.
‘Ivy has been walking around at 55kg, so is ready and able to drop that kilo without a problem.
‘Her preparations have been second to none and she’s ready for her assault on the competition.
‘She’s on weight, fighting fit and determined to go out there and make her mark.’