News June 2015

Tommy Langford talks late sub Vikingo, sparring Callum Smith and Gavin departure


By Michael J Jones

NEXT SATURDAY in Dublin, middleweight hope Tommy Langford faces late subí Julio Cesar Avalos as he bids to make it thirteen victories unbeaten as well as pick up the vacant WBO InterContinental belt live on BoxNation. The 25 year old was due to face decent German Ronny Mittag before Mexican Avalos, 15-4 (7), got the call late last week.

On a show which also features top pros in Jamie Conlon, Patrick Hyland and Stephen Ormond in respective bouts, Langford is eager to put on a first class performance in his first title bout after being side-lined for a short period with injury.

His last contest (in which he suffered a small rupture to his left eardrum), was a highly impressive dismantling of experienced southpaw Wayne Reed. Busy, sharp and barely wasting a punch, the Devon-born Langford put on a brutal exhibition of body-punching to force the referee to stop the contest in the fifth round.

The victory, far more clinical than most had expected, raised the Birmingham-based prospectís record to a perfect 12-0 (3) and he has made excellent progress since turning pro nearly three years ago.

Livefight spoke with Tommy last week to get his thoughts on his upcoming title bout vs ďVikingoĒ as well as his hopes for the year ahead.

LF) Your last contest was in February against Wayne Reed, you must have been very pleased with your performance that night?

TL) Yes it was a night where everything went to plan. Wayne Reed did me a favour though; he came straight at me and came to fight. That enabled me to be able to land often in combosí and was a bit of a dream come true that it wasnít awkward and let me put on a good performance.

LF) You suffered a rupture to your eardrum during the contest; do you remember the damaging shot landing in the fight with Reed?

TL) Yes I actually remember the moment it happened. He caught me with a glancing shot, it wasnít even particularly hard, but straight away I could feel a ringing in my ears but I was lucky in a way as it didnít affect my balance at all.

I had to take a small amount of time out on the doctorís advice but itís healed now and Iíve been able to spar hard in the build up to this fight so touch wood.

LF) You were originally due to face 23-1 German Ronny Mittag who is a very correct and neat boxer but now you face the much shorter brawling Mexican Julio Cesar Avalos with just a week to go; how have you had to alter your preparation with the late switch in opponents?

TL) Well weíve completed all the hard training and sparring now so it wonít change anything; Iíll just have to remember to punch a bit lower! My camp has gone really well and I canít wait for next Saturday now.

Mittag was, as you say, very tall and a correct, stand-up boxer. I watched some footage of him and, while he was obviously decent, I think it would have been a good win for me. With Avalos, heís a lot shorter, solid and doesnít seem to go anywhere (durable). Heís also quite strong but I also think heís never mixed with anyone of a high class in his career.

With my amateur background and all the different styles Iíve fought I can pretty much get to grips with any style of opponent. In the amateurs (where Tommy won a brace of tournaments and also represented England) I got used to taking on opponents you knew nothing about and I nearly always got the job done and this will be no different.

Avalos has got a bit of an odd style from what Iíve seen; he doesnít come straight out to ďhave itĒ but throws wild counters and is a bit unpredictable. Iíve had excellent sparring with Callum Smith and a top Russian though so Iíll be ready for anything.

If he came to me with aggression that would be perfect but weíll see. After that first round Iíll know what to do.

LF) Your long-time gym-mate and recent world title challenger Frankie Gavin has recently departed company with your trainer Tom Chaney. Any comment regarding that?

TL) I donít know the ins and the outs but I know they both parted on good terms and it was all done in the right manner. I think Frankie is going with Maxwell McCracken now and dropping down to light-welterweight so I wish him all the very best.

LF) You have sparred many rounds with Gavin dating back to the amateurs will you miss that quality sparring?

TL) To be honest, Iím now a big strong middleweight and, with him going down to 10st, itís probably too big a (weight) gap to spar now. When you spar often with someone a lot smaller than you itís easy to start making mistakes and I know Frankie felt the same as heíd sometimes over-commit to a shot because I was so much taller.

All through my career Iíve had great sparring away from camp so Iíll continue to do that like this time Iíve done many hard rounds with Callum Smith*.

*Writerís note: the sparring must have done Callum Smith good too as he put on a career-best performance to trounce tough Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse last Friday to move to 17-0.

LF) Providing you get past Avalos how would you like the rest of the year to pan out?

TL) Well Iím focussing on this fight right now but afterwards, ideally, it would be good to get out soon after. Hopefully I can put on another good performance and thereíll be more chance of coming back maybe the end of September then with luck be out again before the end of the year.

Thereís no set-in-stone path at the moment I just want to continue to stay busy, gradually progress through the rankings then next year start targeting the major titles.

Iíd just like to thank everybody who has bought a ticket to come and watch me over in Dublin and for those that havenít tune into BoxNation as itíll be a great night of boxing.

Langford vs Avalos prediction

Julio Cesar Avalos has a lot to contend with on July 4th. Taking a fight on just over a weekís notice, heíll be boxing outside of Mexico for the first time and also facing a much bigger opponent who is improving with each fight and who may well be leagues better than anyone he has ever faced in the ring.

Avalos at 15-4 (7) has a relaxed style which Tommy canít take for granted. The Mexican can appear slow and drops his hands on a regular basis but can whip a wide left hook or clubbing right on the counter. The Mexican, 25 like his opponent, hasnít beaten anyone of note but should be pretty durable having only been stopped once in his four defeats. Without a huge punch, approximately five or six inches in height and reach disadvantage and nowhere near the skill-set of Langford the signs donít look good for Julio Cesar but he should prove game.

Expect a painful night for ďVikingoĒ as Langford systematically breaks him down for a TKO in seven or eight rounds.


Tommy would like his team and also his sponsors; MAN Commercial Protection, Strategy Plus Online Marketing, Action Graphics, Panel Wizards, Atlas Pain Relief, Ringside UK and TR Sports Marketing.

Langfordís ruthless display vs Reed last time out-

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