Tipton’s Ricky Summers has English champions in mind as he prepares to return to the ring after a seven-month absence.
Summers is back in action with a six-rounder against Chris Nixon on the PJ Promotions show at the Venue in Dudley on Friday November 4.
The Venue, on the High Street, once again hosts paid pugilists, with fireworks expected on the evening before Bonfire Night.
A sparring partner for Summers at his Priory Park Boxing Club training base this week was Jahmaine Smyle, the reigning English champion at super middleweight.
Summers has had aspirations of fighting for a national title since the start of the year, with Tom Baker defeating outpointing Jack Morris to win the English light heavyweight crown in March.
Baker has since vacated, with Joel McIntyre and former British title challenger Miles Shinkwin to contest the strap on December 10.
Summers will come after the winner as soon as he gets busy again, with his next fight night seven months to the day since he defeated gatekeeper Carl Wild on points at the same venue.
‘Digger’ has tailored his training to account for his time on the sidelines and told of how his session with Smyle made for compelling viewing.
He said: “I need the best sparring that I can possibly get and you’d have paid good money to watch me and Jahmaine. They were 10 good, hard rounds.
“He used to be massive, but he’s come down to super middle so I’m actually a bit bigger than he is now. I used to box at super middle, but I think it would be too much for me now.
“I’m a natural light heavy, I feel comfortable and strong at the weight and I feel like I’m getting myself into the best shape of my career.
“All I’ve really lost is a bit of time, even when I’ve not had a fight lined up I’ve never spent more than four weeks out of training. I’m a gym rat, I love keeping fit.
“I worry a little bit about ring rust and regular sparring is the best thing to remedy that. I can get my timings right and use the cute little techniques that we’ve been working on.”
After his next contest, Summers intends to travel down to the South Coast to watch McIntyre versus Shinkwin at Portsmouth’s Liquid Envy nightclub in person.
He said: “I’m planning to take a trip down and I’ll be keeping a close eye on that one. I think Miles is the better boxer, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on against Joel.
“The title has moved on quickly, but my ambitions haven’t changed. I’m getting back down to business and I’m at a stage of my career now where I need big fights.”
Summers is not looking past Nixon, who has seven wins and seven losses from 14 contests of pro experience. He’s been stopped three times himself.
The campaigner from Stoke-on-Trent, 30, has halted two of his adversaries, though, including a third round KO win over Darren Snow last time out.
Summers, now 29, has his ‘0’ to protect after racking up a flawless 11-fight paid record. He has 11 victories, with four inside-the-distance.
He said: “It’s an English opponent, which is what I asked for. I didn’t want a foreigner who I’d end up blowing over. I don’t want to be in there with punchbags, so this is more exciting.
“I’ve done my homework on the lad and he hasn’t got a bad record. He’s won as many as he’s lost and stopped his last opponent, so he’ll come to have a go.
“That will bring out the best in me and, if I can, I’ll always look to get the stoppage. I want to remind a few people what I’m about.”
Summers and stable-mate Les Byfield both participate, after the withdrawal of Redditch’s Andrew Robinson from proceedings.
Robinson – like Summers, a graduate of Lions Boxing Club in Dudley – instead challenges Lee Markham for the English middleweight title on November 25.
Byfield, from Netherton, has been paired against Harvey Hemsley. ‘The Minefield’ has reeled off five points successes in a row.
The rest of the card will see Rowley Regis’ Tyler Denny, Birmingham’s Kane Baker, Telford’s Tony Jones and Leicester’s CJ Challenger occupy the home corner.
Tickets, priced at £35 and £50 ringside, are still available from promoter Paul ‘PJ’ Rowson on 07976 283 157.