Shillingford praise for golden-girl Jones

Ebonie Jones Picture: Paul Jacobs
Ebonie Jones Picture: Paul Jacobs
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EBONIE JONES delivered a golden performance of a lifetime to seal Nations’ Cup victory.

The 16-year-old was crowned champion in outstanding style for England as she took a final win over Kazakhstan’s Mahabat Abdimanapova yesterday.

The Heart of Portsmouth (HOP) sensation recorded a points success over four rounds at 51kg to pick up the gold medal in Serbia.

It’s the latest in a long line of wins for Jones after success in the EU and European Championships, as well as a previous Nations’ Cup victory.

But her latest honour arrived as the teenager stepped up to youth level for the first time – and tackled older opposition.

That didn’t stop Jones dominating her rivals with her frenetic pressure and intensity.

And it takes the Drayton ace another step closer to earning a place on Great Britain’s elite Podium squad – and achieving her Olympic dream.

HOP head coach Q Shillingford believes the quality of Jones’ display represents a high water mark in her amateur boxing career.

And, after laying down a ‘seek and destroy’ task for the talent for the final, he was delighted to see her execute the game plan and apply controlled pressure to eventually break Abdimanapova’s resistance.

Shillingford said: ‘It was sensational. I’ve never seen Ebonie box so well.

‘The Kazakh was a tough cookie but Ebonie was so quick going in and out she couldn’t catch her.

‘The Kazakh held her ground very well in the first.

‘That made it clear this was going to be a tough test for Ebonie.

‘In the second, though, Ebonie really upped the tempo and cut the ring off.

‘The first round was even but Ebonie took control in the second and geared up through the rest of the contest.

‘The Kazakh wasn’t happy after the third round and in the last round Ebonie really cut loose on her.

‘Abdimanapova was in the top part of the age bracket, that’s why she was so strong and big.

‘She was massive in comparison but is nearly 18 and virtually a senior. There was a big difference.

‘So Ebonie has mixed it not only with the best in the world but the oldest in the youth category.

‘The plan was executed to the letter. It’s mission accomplished.’

Once again, it was the incessant nature of Jones’ performance which led to her taking the points verdict in Serbia.

That was also the case in her previous outings against Greek Plea Foteini and Kazakhstan’s Aydana Baltabayeva.

Shillingford feels that is reward for the intense training regime she sticks to.

He added: ‘Ebonie kept the pressure on with her footwork.

‘She put on terrible pressure for her opponent to deal with – and she couldn’t get away from her.

‘The girl was holding on in the last and Ebonie was fighting her way out of clinches and not resting.

‘Every round she ramped it up. That shows her fitness and the engine she has. It’s like a V10!

‘That’s as a result of the interval work and training she puts in.

‘Ebonie is up at 6am every morning training, whether it’s in the gym, track or swimming pool.

‘That is why she can set the pace in the big competitions.’