Portsmouth GB pair on collision course

Ivy-Jane Smith.
Ivy-Jane Smith.
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EBONIE JONES and Ivy-Jane Smith are on collision course at the National Elite Championship showdown.

Drayton’s European champion and Heart of Portsmouth’s world youth silver medallist are set to meet in a mouth-watering showdown in London this weekend.

The prestigious national competition has seen the GB pair entered in the same 51kg category.

The event begins today and runs until Sunday with the finest senior boxing talents tackling each other.

Heart of Portsmouth head coach, Q Shillingford, trained Jones through a meteoric rise through the junior ranks. The 19-year-old is now in the army, with Shillingford overseeing Smith’s progress.

Smith, 18, is seeded number one with Jones coming down from 54kg, where she enjoyed her Euro success.

Both will have to overcome other opponents to set up a dramatic final.

Shillingford said: ‘It’s going to be the ultimate bout – boxer against fighter.

‘I’ve trained both girls and Heart of Portsmouth is proud they are both on the GB team and are the best boxers in the country at their weight.

‘It’s a shame they are both at the same weight really but what a bout it’s going to be. It’d be fantastic if they could be at different weights because we could have two boxers from the area on GB at different weights.’

Smith is joined by club-mates Bamidele Ogunsele (91kg), Kerry Davies (75kg) and Xian Blackman-Price (64kg), who are all out for glory.

Shillingford added: ‘Kerry’s club closed and they used to bring her down for sparring. When it happened she said she wanted to go to Heart of Portsmouth, which is good to hear.

‘Xian has enjoyed some success already this season and is ready to go.

‘Bamidele is a big banger and will be dangerous. We’re looking forward to going out and giving it our all.’

Team Wiseman’s exciting England international Mark Chamberlain is out for the title as he continues his step up to senior level.

The 19-year-old has picked up a stoppage and defeated Moneyfields’ Joe Butler in a much-anticipated bout on the way to the quarter-finals.

Now the 60kg number two seed’s hoping Islington’s Shaun Thomas will be the first of three opponents on the way to the national title.

Coach Daron Wiseman said: ‘This is the most prestigious championship.

‘Mark is looking brilliant in sparring. He’s stopped an opponent already and the Butler contest was a brilliant bout – amazing.

‘He’s sparred all the top boxers and he’s confident going in. He’s trained like you would not believe.

Meanwhile, Team Wiseman’s Marcus Hardwick, 12, is aiming for Minors’ Championship success in the county stage of the competition on Sunday. Hardwick has already picked up two wins in his contests to date.