EBONIE JONES laid down a marker after a winning England Boxing Youth Championship opening.
And now Heart of Portsmouth’s rising star has her sights set on her international rival for a place in Sunday’s final.
Jones comfortably dispatched Keighley’s Chelsea Heaps with a unanimous quarter-final success today.
The 16-year-old was too good for Heaps as she shone over four rounds in County Durham.
Now England international Jade Ashmore will provide the opposition in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Ashmore has a good pedigree and is coming down in weight from 54kg.
Jones knows she has to make her mark against the Chesterfield boxer at 51kg and show she is at the top of the tree nationally.
Jones said: ‘It went well.
‘She (Heap) was strong but was on the back foot the whole time.
‘The other opponents got byes so they were all watching.
‘I’ve got an England international now and she will be out to beat me.
‘They all fancy their chances so I have to go out and show what I can do.’
HOP head coach Q Shillingford was pleased with the way Jones opened her campaign.
He is in no doubt what lies ahead for her next will represent a tougher task.
But he also sure the recent Nations’ Cup winner will rise to the challenge which lies ahead.
Shillingford said: ‘It was a great warm-up bout for the semi-final. It was a good, sound four rounds.
‘Ebonie gave a good account of herself and we’re pleased with that.
‘It’s Jade Ashmore next.
‘That will be a step up in level and we thought that could well be the final.
‘She will be a bit more of a handful, but nothing Ebonie can’t handle. Ebonie will take it in her stride.’
HOP coach Colin Williams was also impressed with Jones’ dominance.
He knows that’s the standard she has to maintain.
Williams said: ‘The girl was strong and Ebonie hit her a lot, but she took about three punches in the whole bout.
‘She dominated - and now she has to keep it up.’