Ivy-Jane Smith is out to show she’s the best of British.
Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP) multi-national champion is aiming to pick up her first Great Britain title at the GB Junior & Youth Three Nations event.
The 16-year-old steps up to youth level for tomorrow’s competition in Cardiff, where she aims to make her mark at 54kg.
Smith is expected to face an old foe in Scotland’s experienced champion, Vicky Glover.
The HOP ace chalked up a split-decision success over Glover when she travelled north of the border to meet her last December.
She knows she’ll be taking on a tough, durable opponent who comes forward aggressively.
But Smith’s experience underlines she has what it takes to pick up her first GB crown.
The Q Shillingford-trained boxer already has four national titles to her name.
Smith also picked up a bronze medal at the European Championships and reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s Junior & Youth World Championships last year.
Now her next test lies ahead in the shape of Glover.
Smith fine-tuned her preparations at an England training camp in Sheffield last weekend.
Shillingford believes she will step into the ring with momentum and real belief she has what it takes to grab her maiden GB crown.
But he knows a tough opponent will be standing opposite Smith.
He said: ‘Ivy is on fire, absolutely on fire.
‘But we know she’s got a strong opponent.
‘We went to Glasgow to box her in her backyard before.
‘They gave it to us on a split decision. We weren’t happy with that but it was the right winner.
‘The girl is a strong, tough boxer who comes forward and throw shots.
‘She’s the Scottish champion and the one we’re preparing for.
‘She is an experienced boxer so we know we are in for a tough bout.
‘We’ll be ready for her.’
Shillingford is delighted with how Smith is gearing up for her GB assignment in training.
And he has thanked the community for their roll in ensuring the talent is in the best-possible shape.
Local businesses have offered their assistance and experience to aid Smith’s development.
Shillingford said: ‘Her preparations have been very good.
‘We’ve had a lot of support from the community.
‘Luke Newton and his team at SWEAT Southsea have been really helping with Ivy’s strength and conditioning.
‘Amy Kellow at Everybody Pilates has also been brilliant.
‘Ivy’s core strength and power is really developing as a result of everyone really getting behind Ivy.
‘That is pushing her closer to achieving her dream of boxing at the Olympics in 2020.’