Tipton’s Ricky Summers has pitted his wits against the best of British to get himself ready for a fight in Dudley next weekend (December 4).
Summers will top the bill in a six-rounder on Les Allen’s Sunday afternoon show titled ‘Crunchtime at Lunchtime’ at the Venue, on Dudley High Street.
And he’s been sparring with Hosea Burton, the British champion at his weight, ahead of his next Black Country battle.
‘Digger’ travelled to top trainer Joe Gallagher’s gym in Bolton and is set to return for a second session before he gets back into the ring.
He and Burton are both unbeaten, but Summers doesn’t expect the two to necessarily be going toe-to-toe for real anytime soon.
‘The Hammer’ first has the heavy-handed Frank Buglioni to deal with in his first British light heavyweight title defence on December 10 in London.
Summers won’t be there, as he will be travelling to Portsmouth to watch the vacant English crown be contested between Miles Shinkwin and Joel McIntyre.
The 29-year-old has every intention of taking on the winner and has been buoyed by how he’s held his own training with Burton.
Summers said: “It was brilliant sparring, I couldn’t have asked for any better. I’ve done OK and we’ve been asked to go up there again.
“On the outside, Hosea looks quite basic but, when you are in there with him, you realise what a good fighter he is. He’s massive at the weight and must be 6ft 4in.
“My goal, when I set out in boxing, was to become a British champion one day, but he might have moved on to bigger things by the time I get there.
“I’m keeping a close eye on the English title situation, I’m at the point in my career now where I want to be on the big stage. I’m just concentrating on getting that big fight.
“I haven’t got that many miles on the clock and I want something good to bite my teeth into.”
Summers won’t be caught cold when opportunity knocks to make the step up, with his ‘0 still’ to protect after racking up a flawless 11-fight paid record. He has 11 victories, with five by TKO.
He was once put forward for a contest with former world amateur champion Artur Beterbiev, who twice beat pound-for-pound great Sergey Kovalev in the unpaid code.
He said: “I’m not into taking silly fights. I once got offered Beterbiev and he’s an animal. It was good money, too, but I was in Tenerife on holiday and overweight. I think I was about 14st.
“With the time to prepare I’d have had, I’d have only been going to make up the numbers. That won’t happen again. I’m always ticking over in training now, so I’m ready for whatever comes up.”
Summers was due to take on Kelvin Young, but the search is on for a new opponent after the Wiltshire man pulled out.
He will step through the ropes exactly a month after last headlining at the Venue, taking less than three rounds to halt Chris Nixon.
Rowley Regis’ Tyler Denny also featured on the November 4 offering and does so again, but Birmingham’s Kane Baker has been ruled out after breaking his hand in training.
Denny last snapped a run of two straight draws with a four-round points whitewash, 40-36 over tough Pole Robert Studzinski, in a four-round middleweight contest.
The revitalised ‘Ruthless’ will now look to close out 2016 with a fifth win from seven bouts and still retains his ‘0,’ as he’s undefeated.
Lichfield’s Brad Foster joins the line-up, looking to race to his sixth straight win without reply before joining the hunt for titles at super flyweight next year.
‘The Blade,’ still just 19, changed sports from kickboxing, where he won a multitude of world titles. He’s now signed a three-year promotional contract with Frank Warren.
Two new faces to action at the Venue is Wolverhampton’s Sid Bowater and Birmingham’s Raza Hamza.
Undefeated Bowater, who is managed by Kellie Maloney, resumes action after making his record 3-0 with a points win over former Midlands champion Kevin McCauley in October.
The 26-year-old welterweight will now make the short trip up the Dudley Road to the Venue, with father Ken his coach in the corner.
Brummie featherweight Hamza, 24, arrives with a reputation that promises thrills and spills when he climbs through the ropes.
Unbeaten banger Hamza has four stoppages among the six wins on his pro record, with a draw against Dmitrijs Gutmans the nearest thing to a blip.
Tickets for the show, again priced at £35 and £50 ringside, are still available from Paul ‘PJ’ Rowson on 07976 283 157.
The Venue are also inviting spectators to come downstairs to their dining room and enjoy a three-course Sunday lunch for just £9.99 on the day.