Hard-fought win for ‘Baggies Bomber’ in super-middleweight debut
In his first fight at super-middleweight, former British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Tommy Langford (21-3) was made to work hard for his points win against Frenchman Baptiste Castegnaro (8-16) on March 9 at the Walsall Town Hall on a BCB Promotions event.
Langford didn’t have it all his own way against the tough 28-year-old from southwest France with the six-round super-middleweight contest scored at 58-56 to the 29-year-old from Birmingham.
Langford started off on the front foot and took the fight to the Frenchman, who has previously shared the ring with Olympic bronze medalist Joshua Buatsi.
The West Brom FC fan was dominant behind his double jab and landed a neat left to the body midway through the round. Castegnaro did manage to have some success in the opener and when he landed cleanly, it visibly incentivised him to follow up. The away fighter did manage to ruffle Langford a bit, as they each warmed into the fight, who took a tiny tumble at the end but ruled as a slip.
Langford started the second stanza behind a stiff jab, backing Castegnaro up. They were soon tangled up in the centre until Castegnaro backed Tommy up to the ropes without managing to land anything at all as Langford ducked and weaved and soon answered with a one-two to the head. It was a clean, controlled round for Langford on the scorecards.
Langford landed a peach of a left hook as the pair traded in the centre of the ring in the third, but Castegnaro managed to score back with one of his own. This round was contested in close quarters for the first time in the fight as Castegnaro held his feet a bit longer and there was success for both parties during the three minutes of action.
Despite Langford producing the more dominant and aggressive display, Castegnaro enjoyed spells of success and produced a late flurry seconds before the end of the fourth segment.
The fifth round was far more controlled, as Tommy stalked his opponent, who occupied all four corners of the ring for the duration of the round as he moved away from danger. Langford unloaded when he trapped Castegnaro in his home corner and a left hook to the body followed by another to the head sent th Frenchman backpedaling across the ring.
Castegnaro came out swinging in the final round, but was soon convinced to settle down, courtesy of a left hook to the temple from Langford. They were plenty of exchanges in the final moments, Langford's successful left hook dazing Baptise at one point and the pair finished with a firefight in the middle of the ring.
The official scored it four rounds for Langford and two for the visitor.
Langford commented post-fight, "Back to winning ways! I felt a bit rusty and jittery at the start, but warmed into it and got the job done! Big thank you to all the fantastic support, it always means a lot. Thanks to BCB Promotions for giving me the platform to fight. We move on to the next one!"
The 'Baggies Bomber', named so by his huge following of West Bromwich Albion FC fans, has already declared his intentions to become a two-weight British or Commonwealth champion, and has also promised to earn the mandatory spots to force the fights. Zach Parker from nearby Swadlincote is the current British super-middleweight titlist and world title challenger Rocky Fielding last held the Commonwealth strap.
The BCB Promotions ‘Pride of the Midlands’ event also featured Midlands Area middleweight champion Tyler Denny (10-1-2) who earned a shutout points win over six-rounds and has plans to fight for bigger titles in 2019.
Ricky Hatton-trained welterweight Conah Walker (4-0) remained unbeaten as he scored his second KO and unbeaten lightweight Connor Lee Jones moved uo to 3-0 with a points win.
Wolves welterweight Kirstie Bavington (2-0-1) scored her first stoppage win in a very one-sided fight.