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Ricky Summers sends warning to the light heavyweight division

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Ricky Summers is willing to take on all comers to shorten his rebuilding process as he bids to get back to winning ways next month.

Summers will be a feature attraction when paid pugilism is back at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday May 11, on the BCB Promotions offering titled ‘Showtime.’The 31-year-old will have new coach Spencer McCracken in his corner for the first time, having parted company with Richard Ghent.

Their last time working together was against Andre Sterling on February 23, where Summers was downed in a final eliminator for the British light heavyweight title. ‘Digger’ was on top early on and scored a knockdown in the second round, but a nasty gash by his eye curtailed his progress.

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Sterling worked his way back into the fight and prevailed on points, by unanimous decision as an opportunity went begging for Summers. It was only a second pro defeat for the Tipton man, who now lives in Wombourne, Wolverhampton, with 15 wins and five TKOs also on his record.

He’s already challenged for British honours, where he was valiantly outpointed by then-champion Frank Buglioni in 2017. Summers is still not giving up on his ambitions of glory, though, and feels he can go again after redressing the balance.

There are still targets for him to go after in the light heavyweight division. He was lined up for a crack at the English crown last year. New champion Kirk Garvey will defend against Declan Spellman on May 31, with Summers keeping tabs on the result.

Challenging for a bauble from one of the world’s governing bodies is also of interest, which might attract him to WBA Continental boss Craig Richards. Summers was due to take on Joshua Buatsi last summer, before injury curtailed that opportunity. He was also offered a clash with feared puncher Anthony Yarde.

Only Sterling ever materialised, with misfortune resulting in a display that Summers believes was worlds away from his best.

He said: “I’m not running Andre Sterling down, he did what he had to do to get the win, but it was a terrible performance from me. I started off well, it was a good shot and I didn’t think he was going to get up, because it was a heavy knockdown. I felt completely in control.

“I rushed straight back after him, he was a fair bit shorter than me and we clashed heads, I got the cut and the blood never stopped from rounds two to 10. I’d never been cut, in the ring or in sparring, and I was trying to load up all of the time, rather than getting back to my boxing.

“It was tough for me, I couldn’t see that well because of the blood and that wasn’t just affecting my vision, but my timing was I throwing punches. The fight got away from and if I’d lost fair and square, beaten by the better man after performing to my best, I’d hold my hands up to it.

“But I know I’m better than Sterling, if we boxed each other seven days a week I’d win, at least, six of them. He got the worst of me on that night. He’s no better than Buglioni and I gave him a good push, I always feel like I’ll come on strong in the later rounds but it was a different situation against Sterling.

“I’ve made a change, Richard is a good coach and a great friend, but I want to do some things differently so I’ve gone with Spencer. He’ll probably be the trainer I have to the end of my career and we’ve clicked, I’m enjoying training with him, he’s an elite-level coach who has fought for major titles himself.

“I’ve been far too inactive, I only boxed twice between Buglioni and Sterling, which was the better part of two years. I need to build myself into a position to mix it with the top lads again, I’ve proved I’ve got a good chin and the skill to compete.

“I’ve still a bit of a name so, hopefully, I’ll get the call to get back to that level. I’ve always fancied a shot at the English title, but I just want something worthwhile. I’m looking forward to fighting again on May 11 and I’m not after rounds, I got them against Sterling. I’m determined to put on a good performance and in the best fashion I can.”

Kelcie Ball makes his return to action elsewhere on the Town Hall card, for his first outing as a member of the BCB stable. ‘Cannon’ Ball, a resident of Dordon in Warwickshire, got nine wins under his belt, with one stoppage, before unsuccessfully challenging for the Midlands super welterweight title.

A reigning area champion, James Beech Jr, keeps busy with the super featherweight crown in the bag. The unbeaten hometown hero hails from nearby Bloxwich. Beech enjoyed his finest hour at the same venue in December, defeating Louis Fielding by ninth round knockout to claim the vacant strap.

Tommy Loach, from West Bromwich, will back in the ring after a year out and still has his own undefeated record to protect. Loach drew his last outing with MJ Hall, after recording back-to-back TKOs on the heels of a points victory on his debut.

Liam Davies, from Donnington in Telford, is another hopeful making his way as a pro after success in the unpaid ranks. The super bantamweight, 23, has already secured two points results in his favour, having only turned over late last year. The son of former Midlands champion Tristan Davies racked up 100 amateur contests for his father’s Donnington Boxing Club and boxed for England.

Two debutants, Amy Timlin and Ruben Campbell, complete the line-up. Timlin travels from Southam in Warwickshire to turn over.

Teenager Timlin, who is just 19, switched sports from kickboxing, where she won a host of titles, and will become a part of the featherweight division.

Second generation fighter Campbell, from Dudley, will join the same super lightweight ranks where dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured himself in the early 1990s.

Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It’s £40 for entry on the door.

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