Jones answers England’s call

Ebonie Jones
Ebonie Jones
Ivy-Jane Smith is making her mark on the big stage

Heart of Portsmouth boxer closing in on GB dream

Have your say

Ebonie Jones’ international breakthrough will continue at the Nation’s Cup next month.

The Heart of Portsmouth starlet will kickstart 2014 in style at the event in Serbia, after her EU Championship success and bronze medal at the AIBA World Junior Championships this year.

But that means a festive period of sacrifice as she gears up for the competition.

Jones will compete at 50kg at the tournament which runs from January 8-14.

The 15-year-old will attend a training camp at the England Institute of Sport before flying out to Novi Sad.

So the focus is on ensuring she is in peak condition and keeps her weight in check for when the action gets underway.

Coach Q Shillingford explained that means Jones will enjoy little of the excess the Christmas holidays mean for many of us.

Shillingford said: ‘It’s another success for Ebonie.

‘She’s done so well and this England call-up is another big achievement for her.

‘The tournament starts in January and Ebonie has to be ready the week before for the camp.

‘So she will be training hard over Christmas and there will be lot of kids in training with her. It’s a big club effort.

‘Ebonie was at 52kg for the Female ABA Championships, but will box at 50kg in the tournament. She hasn’t done that since the World Championships.

‘Her weight is good already but she has to be committed, because she will do things properly when doing the weight.

‘So she will have to be careful what she has over Christmas to keep things right.

‘But she does things properly, and gets her rewards because of that.’

Jones has enjoyed a relentless period of success with a national sports award title followed by her second ABA crown.

She defeated last year’s finalist Emma Dolan for the second year on the bounce on the way to the title.

Dolan’s camp disputed last year’s result but could have no argument this time around.

That underlined the pace of her progress ahead of the her next big event.

Jones will have to manage the competition with her schoolwork, however, with the boxer in her final year at Charter Academy in Southsea.

Shillingford said: ‘Ebonie is coming on so quickly.

‘When she boxed in the ABA final last year it was a good bout, but Ebonie won it.

‘The opponent’s coach felt it was close, but I didn’t see it like that.

‘When we boxed her this time it wasn’t close by anyone’s standards.

‘It showed the difference a year has made to her, even at that level.

‘Ebonie has had a lot of support, especially from her school.

‘She is in Year 11 now but they have shown their support with her education.

‘So she will be doing her homework while she’s away as well as boxing.’