Jones packs a punch on Serbia step-up

Heart of Portsmouth's Ebonie Jones
Heart of Portsmouth's Ebonie Jones
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EBONIE JONES sent out a warning on her step up to youth level at the prestigious Nations Cup.

That is the view of coach Q Shillingford, after the Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) talent excelled in Serbia .

Jones forced highly-rated Kazakhstan opponent Aydana Baltabayeva to retire midway through their quarter-final bout today.

And the 16-year-old, who is representing England in the youth section – which is stretched across a two-year bracket – for the first time, is now two fights away from another coveted title.

Jones already has excellent international pedigree after picking up European and EU junior titles on top of a string of other successes.

And the Drayton ace is out to inflict further punishment in a tournament swamped with the world’s best amateur boxers when she takes to the ring with Greece’s Plea Foteini in tomorrow’s 51kg semi-final bout.

Shillingford, reflecting on Jones’ impressive win over Baltabayeva said: ‘From the bell, Ebonie held the centre of the ring and controlled the tempo, throwing two and three-phase attacks.

‘Baltabayeva was a very tall, rangy, clever boxer and very good on her feet.

‘But Ebonie cut her off and, towards the end of the first round, caught the girl heavy with some right hands.

‘In the second round Ebonie hit her hard to the head and body and caught her clean on the chin.

‘The bell went and the girl didn’t return from her corner.’

Shillingford also watched ‘strong and rugged’ Foteini today but believes Jones has the ability and fire-power to progress to the final.

And the HOP coach has praised his club for their role in Jones’ preparations.

He said: ‘Ebonie will have too much in the arsenal for her, although it will be tough.

‘Bailey Fowler, Tyler Hall, Bailey Donald and Billy Cable all came in over Christmas to prepare Ebonie and from our point of view it has been a real team effort.

‘Everything that we had worked on in the gym she brought into the ring.’