Summers going for the world title
KNOCKOUT Ipswich kick boxer Darren Summers plans to bow out at the very top.Summers, fresh from retaining the European crown he won for the first time last year, has his sights set on the world title.
By Mel Henderson
KNOCKOUT Ipswich kick boxer Darren Summers plans to bow out at the very top.
Summers, fresh from retaining the European crown he won for the first time last year, has his sights set on the world title.
And if he is successful in November he will immediately retire, although he won't completely turn his back on the sport.
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"I've had about 16 years of it now," said the 30-year-old self-employed contractor, "and to be honest I'm a bit bored with it.
"It's a bit like being a postman. They must get fed up sticking mail through the same letter boxes day after day.
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"I really want that world title and then I'll call it a day. I'll teach women and children self-defence, and do a few charity events."
Summers should be the perfect tutor after his 18-second demolition of Marty 'Boy' Duke saw him hold on to his European title and extend an amazing career record.
He is now unbeaten in 48 fights and, remarkably, none of them have gone the distance.
Summers put his reputation on the line against Duke, also 30 but with 175 fights behind him – and weighing in at around 11 stones, one and a half stones heavier.
Summers said: "I wasn't prepared to do all that training for nothing, so I took the fight. But it never usually happens, because the lighter fighters can't take the impact."
It was the other way round in the European title fight staged at Hopton, near Lowestoft, with Duke on the receiving end of a lightning-quick KO that was shown on Sky Sports.
"I went out with all guns blazing," explained Summers. "I knew I wouldn't last the full ten rounds – my training is geared to five or six – so I thought 'I'll give it everything from the start'.
"I knew I had to finish him early. I hit him with a kick to the head followed by two punches and a massive hook."
Duke slumped to the canvas inside 18 seconds of the first round and was unconscious for three minutes before recovering to announce he was quitting.
"I got a bit panicky when I saw how he was," admitted Summers. "I pulled my gloves off quickly and ran straight over to him.
"I had my arm under his head, trying to talk to him, but he was out cold. But he came round after the doctor saw to him.
"When he got to his feet he gave me a cuddle, lifted my arm up and wished me the best of luck.
"He was actually out before he hit the canvas. As I hit him with the second punch his head shot up and I saw the opportunity of a lifetime.
"If it hadn't been him it would have been me. It's full contact kick boxing and we were both in there to win."
Now Summers, who describes his ability as a gift, will step up his fitness schedule in preparation for a crack at the world crown in November
All but two of his 48 fights – both European title bouts – have been as an amateur and he secured his first sponsorship for his recent defence.
He said: "I am grateful to Mark Shelley of Shirley Shelley Cleaning Services for his support. I can't thank him enough."
Summers is not the only Millennium Kick Boxing Club member to celebrate recent success, with colleagues Mick Robinson and Michael Fountain completing a hat-trick of honours.
Robinson, 23 and the reigning amateur world champion, retained his British title, while 24-year-old Fountain collected the Eastern Counties title, his first major prize.