News January 2015

Undefeated middleweight Tommy Langford talks to Livefight ahead of Valentine’s Day test

21.01.2015

By Michael J Jones


This Valentine’s Day in Wolverhampton, lightweight stars Stephen Ormond and Terry Flanagan meet over ten rounds to contest the WBO European title. Chief support sees another ten round clash as middleweight prospect Tommy Langford faces arguably his toughest test to date in the shape of Sheffield southpaw Wayne Reed.

Former England amateur star Langford has made steady progress so far in his two-and-a half years out of the vest. At 11-0 (2) the 25 year old has boxed some of British boxing’s toughest war horses and intends to continue his fine form in 2015 as he targets titles and the men sitting above him in the rankings.

While researching the Birmingham-based Tommy, I watched him impressively take apart Nicky Jenman in just two rounds. The bout featured on last August’s BoxNation bill in the West Midlands when Langford’s stable-mate Frankie Gavin suffered his lone reverse to Italian Leonardo Bundu.

I begin our interview with the Jenman fight in which Langford stopped the usually-durable Brighton man with a prolonged attack at the close of the concluding session. Despite only one stoppage win entering the fight, Langford showed some decent power.

“If you look at my record, most of my wins have come against guys who never get stopped” Tommy tells Livefight. “When an opponent doesn’t want to get stopped it can be hard to get them out of there when they’re just tucking up trying to survive.”

“Jenman gave it a go and because he came at me I could open up and I managed to stop him. I’m not saying I’m a huge one-punch knock-out artist but I can definitely hit that’s for sure.”

“If you look at some of the other guys I’ve previously fought; Gary Boulden went the full ten rounds with Billy Joe Saunders, Harry Matthews took Chris Eubank Jr six hard rounds and Dan Blackwell has only ever been stopped by Liam Williams so they were all tough lads.”

As a star amateur, the six-foot Devonian was a victor in 86 of 106 contests, won two national titles as well as boxing for England and even captaining the team. Tommy’s excellent amateur career would also see him secure wins over the celebrated pair of Callum Smith (now 15-0 as a pro) and Antony Fowler (last year’s Commonwealth Games champion) among many others.

While his quality of opposition in the amateurs was high, I ask which of his eleven pro contests so far has been the toughest test he has faced to date?

“I’d say Alistair Warren” he answers immediately of an opponent he beat last May on a technical decision. “It’s just I’d never fought a guy with that style before so I didn’t feel I was as impressive as I could have been. After that fight I worked on a lot of things in the gym to iron certain things out and I know if I fought that style of opponent again I’d do a lot better.”

What is the middleweight puncher hoping for in his boxing career in 2015?

“The way I am I want to stay busy” begins Tommy, who trains at Hall Green ABC under the knowledgeable Tom Chaney. “I want ideally four or five fights, the (boxing) year for me will start February 14th and after that I’m just looking for titles and whatever comes my way.”

“By the end of this year I want to be mixing with the top guys in the UK, boxing for maybe the English or an Inter-Continental belt or something. The British title is probably a little beyond me at this stage but once I get those rounds and improve my experience when I do step up I’ll be ready and very confident.”

“The British middleweight ranks are stacked with talent and that’s good for me as it’s inevitable that exciting fights will be made. The division will be full of great match-ups over the next few years and that suites me fine.”

One young man who has managed to split the UK fans’ opinion is a certain Mr Eubank Jr. Some have welcomed the intrigue and charisma the Brighton fighter has brought to British boxing while many others have scathed him for his premature thrusting into prime time television off the back of his famous father’s name.


The majority of fight fans appeared to be glad he lost his unbeaten record last November to Billy Joe Saunders in the first major bout of his short career. Off the back of his first defeat, the 18-1 (13) Eubank Jr makes a tricky-looking return on February 28 against undefeated Russian Dmitry Chudinov for the Interim WBA World middleweight bauble.

Although with a top-class team behind him also, the Frank Warren-promoted Langford’s own career has been somewhat lower-key to his middleweight rival. Considering what Langford did in the amateurs compared to Eubank Jr, it surely must be more than a little grating…

“It happens quite a lot in boxing, you get England internationals boxing in four rounders on small hall shows to begin with. If you look at what (Eubank Jr) did in the amateurs he was virtually an unknown but obviously he’s got that name and has had those opportunities off of that. It’s a bit frustrating but you’ve just got to swallow it and carry on.”

How does Langford view his potential future opponent following Chris Jr’s split loss to Saunders two months ago?

“I think personally Eubank Jr makes a lot of novice mistakes, the way he ignores his jab and swings wildly etc and Billy Joe Saunders was able to exploit that. I thought Billy Joe completely out-boxed him I don’t understand how anyone could have scored it the other way. Eubank Jr would have a decent round and then lose the next two or three.”

Tommy also has some tough advice for the Brighton boxer ahead of his comeback fight next month…

“The (Saunders loss) may have been a blip but I’m not even sure if Eubank Jr will come through his next fight. I watched him box Bradley Pryce a while ago and he boxed well behind his jab. He’s quite fast and he looked good but he’s got to stop trying to be his Dad and use his own strengths. I do think he’s a bit overrated and I’m not sold but we’ll see.”

For Eubank Jr’s conqueror it looks likely he will receive a WBO title shot this year against Irish southpaw Andy Lee. The new champion looked terrific in demolishing the previously unbeaten Matt Korobov. How does the rangy prospect see that bout going providing it takes place?

“I always go with Billy Joe as he had a stellar amateur career and he has a lot of skill. Because he has such a high work-rate I see him being ahead all the way but with Lee’s power it may just take one good right hook to turn the fight on its head.”

“With those factors it should make for a great fight for the fans as it should be very exciting.”

Does the ambitious middleweight see his own future reaching the world stage in the coming years?

“I’ve definitely got the right set up fighting on BoxNation and getting promoted by Frank Warren but I’m just taking it one step at a time” he tells Livefight wisely. “My first big goal will be the British title and not many get to that but if I do then I won’t be far away from world title level.”

“Just look at Derry Mathews (getting a world title shot against WBA champion Richard Abril) if you get to that kind of level you’re not too far away. If I can get there then of course I’ll be wanting to go higher but it’s all about learning now and getting the right fights and opponents.”

With our interview nearing its conclusion I ask about Tommy’s stable-mate Frankie Gavin who came back from the Bundu defeat last year with two solid victories. The latter win occurred on the London undercard of Saunders-Eubank Jr against Bradley Skeete with Gavin retaining his British welterweight title and reclaiming his commonwealth strap.

“I think Frankie took the Bundu defeat relatively well…I mean he was absolutely gutted at the time but he never dwelt on it and just got back to work. He’s scored two good wins since and I think he’s looking at another European title shot. He showed against Skeete he’s beyond British title level now.”

“Gianluca Branco is the new European champion and Frankie is the mandatory so he can beat him and maybe even have a rematch with Bundu.”

While Langford takes on the 11-9 (5) former Central Area champion Reed, most are expecting fireworks in the main event as the skilful boxing of Flanagan is pitted against the rugged pressure of Ormond.


Prediction for the big lightweight clash?

“I’ve not seen much of either but I know Flanagan will be tough to beat as he’s a good boxer and very busy so you’d think it would be tough for anyone to out-score him. Having said that Frankie (Gavin) knows Ormond well and says he’s a cracking fighter so who knows?”

Of his own opponent Reed, Tommy added “I've only watched a bit of footage of him and he is a southpaw which presents a new challenge as a pro although it isn't something that daunts me having sparred countless rounds with Frankie (Gavin). I am confident that, providing I perform how I know I can, I will put on an impressive performance.”

“His record does show that he carries power but it’s not something that fazes me. He’s obviously dangerous but he has to hit me first.”

Headlining the show, Irishman Ormond 17-1 defends his WBO European title against Manchester's Flanagan 26-0 with the fight also sanctioned as an eliminator for Terence Crawford’s WBO World title on Saturday 14th February and the premier lightweights claim that there will be no love lost between them when they finally meet.

The all-action showdown will headline a talent-packed card promoted by Frank Warren in association with P.J Rowson.

Tickets priced at £40, £70 and £100 are available from Team Langford on 07805 613757 or online at http://www.tommylangford.co.uk/

BoxNation will televise live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com or watch online at Livesport.tv and via iPhone, iPad or Android.

Tommy Langford would like to thank his sponsors; MAN Commercial Protection, Strategy Plus, Atlas Physio, Ringside UK, PR Manager Tim Rickson, his team and all his fans for their continued support, his team and all his fans for their continued support.

To follow Tommy Langford on Twitter click here @Tommy_Langford1

Langford vs Jenman

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