Current English middleweight champion, Lewis Taylor (18-1-1) will clash with unbeaten Birmingham boxer, Tommy Langford (15-0) on February 13th at Liverpool’s Echo Arena for the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title and Langford’s WBO Inter-Continental strap.
The Frank Warren promotion is headlined by Terry Flanagan’s (29-0) WBO World lightweight title defence against Derry Mathews (38-9-2) in what will be a Manchester v Liverpool derby titled ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. The present English middleweight title-holder, Lewis Taylor, 25-years-old from Derbyshire, announced the fight on social media channels on Christmas Eve.
Taylor, was last out on November 21st when he defended his English championship, halting Jez Wilson (12-3-1) in five rounds at Rotherham’s Magna Centre.
The Dronfield fighter’s only defeat to date came against Ireland’s Eamonn O’Kane when losing out on a majority decision for his IBF Inter-Continental middleweight strap back in May this year. Langford, rated in the top 5 in the WBO rankings, has enjoyed an exceptional 2015, winning all four of his fights – three by TKO – as well as collecting his first professional title and defending it twice.
The 26-year-old added to his unbeaten professional record just days before Christmas when he stopped Robert Swierzbinski (15-5) in five rounds on the undercard of Andy Lee’s failed first defence of his WBO World middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders, and achieved the goal that he set pre-fight of beating the Polish national champion in a quicker time than Chris Eubank Jr. managed back in May 2014 when he stopped the same opponent in round seven.
Bideford-born Langford, a former England amateur captain, said of his forthcoming opponent, “I believe I’m better in every department and got more than enough to deal with him but it’s a 50-50 fight on paper so it’s definitely one for the fans to get excited about. He’s had to give up the English title to fight me so he really fancies it and will be bringing his A game.”
The West Brom fan known as the ‘Baggies Bomber’ has had a trio of foreign imports for his last three fights so Taylor will present a new challenge in February for their domestic dust-up.
The Queensberry Promotions star commented, “There’s a bit of extra spice added being two good British boxers ranked in the top 10 so there’s a lot at stake for us both.
“I have been keeping fit over Christmas, expecting to fight in February; I even went out for a run on Christmas Day.”
The Commonwealth title up for grabs was most recently held by Billy Joe Saunders who defended it six times after winning the vacant prize against Tony Hill with a first round stoppage back in 2012. The current WBO World middleweight champion from Hatfield then went on to win British and European honours before dethroning Irishman Andy Lee on December 19th in Manchester.
“Obviously the momentum to my career is flying right now,” said Langford. “People are mentioning me in the same sentence as Billy Joe Saunders so this is just another step in the right direction.”
Langford is trained by Tom Chaney at his Hall Green Gym in Birmingham who once guided former teammate, Frankie Gavin to World amateur championship glory.
He concluded, “It’s a good way to kick off the year so I’m happy and this fight is first and foremost for me, my baby is due in April so I’ll expect to have a bit of a rest in that period to settle in and hopefully get out again start of summer around June-July time.”
Heading up the title fights on the undercard is on-form Ellesmere Port ace, Paul Butler (20-1) who makes the first defence of his WBO European super-flyweight title that he won with a stunning sixth round stoppage of Silvio Olteanu (15-9-1) in December. Thunderous-punching Welshman Liam Williams (13-0-1), 23-years-old, is back in action after his two-round demolition of Kris Carslaw (22-5), who had never been stopped in his eight-year career, to defend both his British and Commonwealth super-welterweight titles. Liverpool’s all-action Tom Stalker (10-1-3) aims to make it third time lucky when he challenges for the vacant WBO European lightweight title after drawing twice against Welsh rival Craig Evans (14-1-2). Hard-hitting Blackpool star Matty Askin (19-3-1), 27-years-old, defends his English cruiserweight title against Swindon’s Lawrence Bennett (7-1-1) in a rematch following the controversial first-round ending of their first fight last October that saw Askin pushed through the ropes and stretchered out of the arena. Indian megastar Vijender Singh (3-0) makes his Liverpool debut and begins his 2016 campaign that could see the national icon return to his homeland later in the year to challenge for his first title. Fast-rising Liverpool super-lightweight Stephen Lewis (10-0), 23-years-old, steps up to feature in his first 10-round contest against International opposition off the back of a three-fight KO run. Heavy-handed European bantamweight champion Ryan Farrag (14-1), 27-years-old, has his first fight since his stunning upset in Belgium in October to beat Stephane Jamoye (28-7) with a ninth round stoppage to claim the title. Concluding the line-up, Leicester’s super-featherweight dynamo Lyon Woodstock (5-0), 22-years-old, looks to continue his rapid rise through the domestic ranks.
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