Olympic dream’s on for Smith after world silver

Heart of Portsmouth boxer Ivy-Jane Smith impressed in India
Heart of Portsmouth boxer Ivy-Jane Smith impressed in India
The super six with their medals at the King of the Ring Box Cup in Sweden

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Lucas Ballingall celebrates his success with his trainer father Michael Ballingall, left, Leigh Park's former British, Commonwealth and WBU light-heavyweight champion Tony Oakey and trainer Gavin Jones, right. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-750)

Ballingall showcases potential to go far

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IVY-JANE Smith has put herself in the sights of GB bosses after her groundbreaking world silver medal.

The Heart of Portsmouth ace has been tipped to make it on to the Great Britain’s elite podium squad after her success at the AIBA Youth Women’s World Championships.

Smith’s campaign came to a close after she was controversially defeated at the last stage in India to host-nation boxer Sakshi Choudhary.

The split-decision verdict went against the 18-year-old at the end of an outstanding campaign.

And HOP head coach, Shillingford, believes such a landmark success will have Smith on the radar of GB bosses.

That would put her in contention to make the Olympics moving forward.

Shillingford said: ‘I think Ivy will be in contention to go full-time on the GB squad.

‘She’s delivered on a world stage and she’s shown she right up there with the best.

‘In January she becomes a senior boxer and is on top of her game.

‘There’s no reason she can’t move across. She’s announced herself at world level.

‘Ivy really has made a strong statement why she should be on Team GB full-time.

‘There’s no doubt she’s cemented her place on the world platform.’

Smith’s displays have seen the record books rewritten after making the final.

She becomes the first boxer associated with Portsmouth to reach the last stage of a world competition.

And Smith was also the first British female youth boxer to make it to a world championship final, with Georgia O’Connor also a losing finallist.

Shillingford said: ‘It’s massive for a Portsmouth boxing club to have an athlete in a world final.

‘It’s a first for Portsmouth in terms of boxing. It’s great for the area.

‘She’s also the first female youth boxer to medal at a World Championships.’

There was a tinge of disappointment for Shillingford the final verdict went against Smith.

Plenty of observers thought the HOP talent did enough to get the victory.

That did nothing to deflect from her achievement, however.

Shillingford said: ‘It’s a shame it was controversial.

‘I thought Ivy controlled and dominated the bout so the decision was disappointing.

‘She performed in my eyes and was on top.

‘It was a great bout but I thought Ivy won it. I thought she controlled it.

‘Both athletes were very good as you’d expect in a world final, but I thought Ivy was the better of the two.

‘Regardless of that it has been an outstanding effort – and she should be extremely proud of what’s she achieved.’