THE PORTSMOUTH charge is on at the European Championships.
Drayton’s Ebonie Jones will join Heart of Portsmouth’s Ivy-Jane Smith in GB colours as they launch a two-pronged assault for international honours.
The pair are both out for success in the under-22 competition which begins this weekend in Romania.
Both boxers are now spending time as part of the GB set-up, with the hope they will get the nod to go to their Sheffield headquarters on a full-time basis.
An impressive showing on the Euro stage can now bolster those hopes.
Jones, who is now in the army, is out to make her mark as she impresses at senior level.
She competes at 54kg as she goes for glory.
Her father, Chipper, explained the 22-year-old is stamping her authority at senior level.
He said: ‘She’s a Portsmouth girl and we’re really proud Ebonie is out there.
‘Ebonie’s in the army but she’s training with GB from Monday to Friday.
‘Last year was her first as an adult at senior level really.
‘She won the national championships, GBs, Haringey Cup and was named the army’s rising star of the year.
‘Ebonie’s part of the GB squad, training hard and in good form.
‘She wants to go out there and do Portsmouth proud.’
After making her mark as a senior for the first time with a bronze medal the Nations’ Cup in Serbia earlier this year, Smith wants to continue catching the eye after stepping up from youth level.
The 18-year-old boxes at 51kg and her coach, Q Shillingford, is confident she will not be overawed by the task ahead with a wealth of international experience in her locker.
Shillingford said: ‘Ivy’s flown out with GB now and is ready to make her mark.
‘She’s supposed to be a Podium potential boxer, but GB have her up there all the time.
‘Ivy looks good at the weight.
‘When we sent her out to the World Youth Championships at 54kg she weighed 51.9kg.
‘She did really well, got to the final and everyone thought she’d won it.
‘GB saw her weight and realised she could do 51kg, so that’s where they want her to box now.
‘She is doing really well at the level.
‘Ivy boxed and won a bronze at a senior elite-level competition in Serbia.
‘The girl she lost to was defeated controversially by Nicola Adams in the semi-finals of the Olympics and won bronze.
‘So it proves Ivy can now deal with boxers of that level.
‘The aim is to make her mark in the competition and prove herself again.
‘This is the next step for Ivy to move towards reaching elite senior level.’