One of boxing’s classic maxims is that it’s not always what you do that matters but how you do it, and while Tipton light-heavyweight Ricky ‘Digger’ Summers may have fallen short in a British title challenge to Frank Buglioni in July, the rousing battle he gave the champion proved without doubt he belongs at national title level. By taking Buglioni into the trenches and having repeated success with his own shots, the game Summers (13-1) certainly made the fight the kind of all-action spectacle beloved by fans, and on 25th November he’ll be looking to put in another barnstorming performance as he meets Coventry’s Joe Sherriff (11–1) in a Midlands derby for the Area title. Despite the many plaudits that came his way following a tigerish display in the Buglioni match, the likeable Summers felt he could have done more: “Not taking anything away from Frank because he’s a lovely lad, but it was my first time on the big stage and although I did OK on the night, I’m better than that. I started a bit slowly to be honest, and I think where the fight had been postponed when Frank got cut, I was over-trained. I wanted to win so bad, but still, I look at it as not losing but learning – I know what it’s all about now. People had been writing me off for it and were expecting me to get stopped, but I’ve never been dropped as either an amateur or a pro. It was a massive step up for me as Frank has boxed at world level and he was far better than anyone I’d ever fought, plus it was my first twelve rounder. In training when I should have stepped off the gas a bit, I wouldn’t because of the twelve rounds I had to do, and by not doing that I didn’t have the snap in my shots on the night. But everything happens for a reason.”
The devoted father of two has an association with southpaw Sherriff going back years, but will have to put personal feelings aside for the contest which takes place on a BCB Promotions’ show, in association with MTK Birmingham and sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall, at the Imperial Banqueting Suite, Bilston: “I know Joe really well and to be honest I wish I was boxing someone else! He’s a lovely lad and I boxed and beat him in the amateurs, but this is business. He’s a good fighter, a decent kid and he proved that in the great match he had with Jake Ball (Ball took a points decision in a thrilling fight in September). No doubt Joe would have taken a bit of confidence from that fight as well, and although he’s not brilliant he does all the basics right, he’s big for the weight and on paper this is a 50-50 fight. We’ve similar records, he’s lost one and I’ve lost one. It’s a very important fight for me, as I’ve been a pro for five years and I don’t really want to hang around at Area level, and I think it’ll be the English or British title in my sights next. Frank Buglioni I think will face Callum Johnson and then move on, so I’d love to fight for the British again when that happens.
“But for now I’m just concentrating on Joe Sherriff. It’s a big fight in terms of my career, a make or break one really; if I were to lose I’d have to go back and rebuild, and at the age of thirty…..I don’t want to think in terms of losing but if I were to lose this could be my last fight. It’s a big fight for the Midlands and I want all the fans to come and support me. Joe may be a friend but this is business, I want to inflict pain on him and beat him in style.”
With the disappointment of that loss against Buglioni receding into the past, Summers is set on revitalising his title ambitions with a win over Sherriff, and with the man from Coventry also coming off a very good performance the fans in attendance seem assured of a terrific clash to determine the best light-heavyweight in the Midlands. For the winner, a chance to then press their rights at a higher level is almost certain to unfold. A tantalising battle is in prospect, and one not to be missed.
Written by Andrew Fairley (@andrewfairley1)