Portsmouth talent craves true test

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Lucas Ballingall, right, on his way to victory over Michael Dehamnia. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-659)

Portsmouth ace out to be a sharpshooter in 2018

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Ellis Booth battled to national glory but has been left craving a true test.

The 21-year-old, from Portsmouth’s GYM01, saw off Vanessa Brown with a unanimous decision to claim the title at the ABAE Championships in Brentwood.

But Booth was ultimately left frustrated as she was unable to fight the Great Britain opponents she had hoped to face when making 52kg.

Coach Wayne Kong-Gardiner appreciates the young fighter’s disappointment, with Booth keen to test herself at national level.

‘Ellis is a talent and 21 years of age,’ he said.

‘But there is no action or opportunity for her to step up and maybe represent England.

‘Even at the last England selection camp Ellis looked good with everyone she sparred but again there was no follow up.

‘Unfortunately none of the GB girls entered the championships.

‘Ellis would happily go along to England or GB and be a sparring bunny for those within their squad.

‘We would do this for free – anything to get Ellis the international sparring experience she requires.’

Booth continues to impress in the ring, her success following a superb victory in the Haringey Cup in June – where she beat highly-regarded Jamaican Sarah Rae Jones.

And Kong-Gardiner hopes upcoming fights this month will further prove she is ready for a call from the national selectors.

‘I have Ellis matched on January 25 on our home show but have also matched her with Ceira Smith (Irish champion) in a team match during April in central Dublin,’ he said.

‘I would love to take Ellis overseas for more experience but lack of money holds us back.

‘We will keep plugging away and doing everything we can, though.

‘Hopefully she will get the opportunity she deserves.’