Langford defeats Taylor for the vacant Commonwealth strap via unanimous decision.
Brummie boxer Tommy Langford secured his second title on his 16th professional contest by defeating Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor by unanimous decision at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Saturday March 12th.
Langford extended his unbeaten run to 16-0 with a points decision over the English middleweight champion, Lewis Taylor (18-2-1) with scores of 118-110, 118-111 and 118-111 on the undercard of the event titled ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, which saw Manchester’s Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan (30-0) triumph over Liverpool’s ‘Dirty’ Derry Mathews (38-10-2) on points in the headlining fight to retain his WBO World lightweight crown.
Langford was the red-hot favourite going into the championship contest and controlled the majority of the fight putting together clever combinations and outworking Taylor who boxed behind a tight defense, throwing single shots all night.
Both fighters showed grit and determination throughout the full 12-rounds – unchartered territory for Langford who had only been involved in 10-rounders previously – each taking shots unnecessarily at times in what was a hard-fought, closely-contested domestic battle that asked questions of each boxers’ claim for the higher honours in the talent-laden middleweight division.
The Bideford-born victor commented post-fight:
“I got 12 rounds in the bag and I won it convincingly but it shows that I’ve got a long way to go. I could have boxed better behind the jab but all credit to Taylor, he was better than I expected but he’ll come again.”
When quizzed about a potential finish available to him in the ninth round, the winner responded:
“I could have taken my time when I caught him to finish him better; with every fight, I’ve learnt a lot.”
It was a lively opening round which set the tone for the rest of the contest. Langford was successful many times with the double jab, outworking Taylor who had clearly done his homework, displaying a defensive shape and finding gaps in his opponents defence.
Langford was the busier boxer but the first few rounds were evenly shared as the Devonian ate a few flush shots from Taylor as he attempted to put together combinations.
Birmingham-based Langford began to up the tempo in the third round and Taylor answered by firing back in the fourth round.
Still a very close fight, Langford began to exert control, dominating the centre of the ring and varying the punches trying to land several uppercuts as Taylor continued to press forward behind a solid guard.
The fast pace of the competition began to tell as the bout reached the midway point, Taylor looked to be tiring with Langford still firing on all cylinders.
From the mid-rounds onwards, the Frank Warren promoted fighter began to really come out on top , flashing four and five punch combinations against Taylor who failed to work hard enough to match his opponent.
In round eight, the tables turned as Taylor cut Langford, seemingly from a head clash rather than a punch, however, in the following round, Langford visibly hurt Taylor from a body shot, who doubled over and backed away immediately. Langford instinctively sensed the finish and tried to land the same shot but the Dronfield fighter tucked up well and survived to the end of the round.
Taylor continued to feel the pressure from Langford in round 10 only throwing single shots and still not doing enough to win the rounds.
Knowing that the 11th round was unchartered terrain for his opponent, coupled with the knowledge that he was likely to be trailing on the scorecards, Taylor flew out of the corner, all guns blazing in the penultimate round. He achieved success with the blistering attacks but Langford weathered the storm.
The final round saw great shots thrown from two tired boxers who gave their absolute all, much to the delight of the fans.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement came for Tommy Langford, crowned as the new Commonwealth champion, agreed by all three judges at ringside.
It was the right decision as he was the busier, livelier boxer throughout his maiden 12-round contest. Question will be asked about his defence when he looks to step up a level, already stating he would love to challenge for the vacant European title towards the summer.
Frank Warren stated at ringside:
“He’ll learn a lot from it, he’s got a fantastic jab and he hurt him with a few body shots, it was a competitive fight and there’s a couple of things he needs to learn from but I hope that by the end of the year he’ll be fighting for a world title.”
(Top image sent in by Tim Rickson)
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