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WBO I-C Middleweight Champ Langford Gunning For More Titles
Middleweight ace Tommy Langford (14-0) is on the quest for more titles after successfully defending his WBO Inter-Continental belt over 10 hard-fought rounds against Argentinian national champion Christian Fabian Rios (20-7-3) at the Wolves Civic on October 3rd.
Hasn’t lost a round in three years now
The 26-year-old Bideford-born Queensberry Promotions fighter won on points by the widest of margins with two judges scoring the contest at 100-90 in Langford’s favour and the third official ruling at 100-91, live on BoxNation TV.
The result meant that not only is the Birmingham-based 160-pounder’s perfect record still intact but also his worthy feat of never conceding a round in over three years and 14 fights in the paid ranks.
“What he threw at me, he gave everything in his shot,” said the victor from Weoley Castle in the West Midlands. “He was really trying to hurt me, I could hear his grunts.”
“The best shot he hit me with was a body shot in the fifth round which, I didn’t realise until I watched it back the next day, was right in the solar plexus. However, I just stayed out of range for 30 seconds and carried on, but I still won the round.
“His head shots didn’t affect me, I was fine and they didn’t bother me at all.
“I worked a lot in training camp on the right punches that would have the best effect. That looping right hand of mine was the most effective. It’s kind of a right hook-slash-uppercut.
“I knew that was the shot that was gonna’ work on him, before the fight I thought I would stop him with it and I did start landing it well but then he started to see it happening, so then I followed up with the left hook and that hurt him a lot.”
Improving all the time
The Argentine national champion has never been stopped and held Matthew Macklin’s conqueror and current WBC International middleweight champion Jorge Sebastian Heiland to a draw in 2012.
“He’s been the best opponent yet in terms of rankings and for lasting 10 rounds with me but at no point in the fight did I not feel in control.
“He was quite short and the way he moved was quite erratic so I had to chop down with them shots to hit the target,” said Langford.
“I was hurting him in the first few rounds; I could see in his face I was hurting him, but he got on his bike and moved and we knew that was going to be the pattern of the fight.
“I was rattling off combinations rather than putting in power-punches to enable my fitness to last. The shots were still hard enough to put him off and he didn’t want to try and walk through them because they were hurting him enough.”
Despite being the third 10-round contest of Langford’s career, he had still not been taken beyond the sixth round.
“I maybe used a bit more energy bouncing around on my toes whereas I could have glided a bit more but I felt really good in there,” explained the former England amateur captain.
“Obviously, I’ve done six rounds on few occasions but I didn’t mean to set that pace but I hit him with some good shots so thought I’d eventually stop him and got carried away.
“I felt strong and when you’re in that flow, you could just keep going all night and I could have done 12 rounds easily.
“Tom Chaney said to me in the corner before round nine to just punch it out of him now so I kept up that energy right to the final bell.
“His team said afterwards that they knew I hadn’t gone the 10 rounds before so their plan was to push me later on in the fight but they said the pace I set was unbelievable.”
Moving towards the big titles
The six-foot-tall middleweight’s latest performance has seen his position elevated to the top five in the British rankings, top 10 in the Commonwealth table, top 15 in the European, and inevitably one or two places higher than his previous position of seventh in the WBO rankings, nudging him closer to Andy Lee’s WBO World title.
“That’s the ultimate goal to what I’m heading for and it’s realistic that I could be mandatory in 12 months for the WBO Word title, especially if Billy Joe Saunders wins it,” he hoped.
“Titles-wise, I’m not chasing anybody, I’ve got my own path now but it’d be nice to pick up a few titles on the way to that WBO World title.
“I’ve got no injuries so I want to fight again before Christmas with another good performance.
“It doesn’t matter if I headline the show or not, I just wanna’ keep busy. It’s great that if I need a fight, they [Box Nation] can put shows on based around me, so that’s a blessing, but I’m happy to be on the undercard of a big arena show.
“I’m a young 26-year-old, not been in any hard fights and never lost a round so I’ve not had any toe-to-toe, grafting wars, so I’m fresh.
Langford was born in Bideford in North Devon but left the scenic area for Birmingham to train with Frankie Gavin and his trainer Tom Chaney, as a teenager.
As a result of 17 years of growing up in Devon and close to a decade of life in the West Midlands, Langford has picked up a huge fan base in the two separate areas, over 200 miles apart.
Support through thick and thin
The North Devon faithful travel up to Wolverhampton on coaches, mini-buses, and cars in a convoy of close to 100 fans making an eight-hour round trip in one night.
“Can’t thank the fans enough for 10 rounds of non-stop cheering!” beamed Langford. “The Devon fans and West Brom bounced off each other well, and I’m glad that I gave them a good spectacle, it looked good on TV, and that’s the name of the game – to be entertaining.
“I picked up a decent amount of new followers on Twitter and Facebook with the show being live on BoxNation TV.
“It’s all performance related and more will want to tune in again after that, there’s been a real improvement in my performances and fans are starting to see that in me.”
Langford started the year with a record of 11 wins and two TKO’s, the best scalp on his record coming in the form of a second round stoppage of Brighton southpaw Nicky Jenman.
Fast-forward 10 months and the record stands at 14 wins with four stoppages, an Inter-Continental strap, a world ranking, and a headliner of his own show.
“It was always the sort of plan at the start of the year to get a 10-round fight in and to pick up a belt but the fashion in which I’ve done it has been pretty strange for me because I never really had that praise before so to have it now, it’s quite nice,” he said.
“It means that people are really valuing me and rating me as a contender and that’s what I’ve wanted for a long time.
“I’m red hot now and just got to keep the momentum going.”
Viewers can watch Tommy as a special guest pundit this Saturday 10th October, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky channel 437/HD 490, Virgin channel 546 and TalkTalk channel 525).
(Image courtesy of Tim Rickson)