Tommy Langford vs Lerrone Richards

Tommy Langford has been to ‘southpaw school’ to prepare for Lerrone Richards

Published On Monday, April 22, 2019By British Boxing News

Tommy Langford sparring southpaws as practice for slick style of Lerrone Richards

Tommy Langford (21-3) reckons Lerrone Richards (11-0) may have bitten off more than he can chew as the two prepare for a double title clash.

They will lock horns for the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International super middleweight belts at Wembley Arena on Saturday April 27.

The contest brings Langford back under the banner of former manager Frank Warren, although he’s now guided by his coach Tom Chaney and promoter Errol Johnson.

Langford’s last title bout on BT Sport was a painful fifth round TKO loss to Avtandil Khurtsidze in 2017, with the interim WBO world middleweight title and a shot at Billy Joe Saunders on the line.

The Devon-born Brummie could have landed a shot at the full WBO title held by then stablemate Billy Joe Saunders, had he won, but he was still in possession of the British crown at the time.

Two barnburners with Jason Welborn saw him lose that status, both on points by split decision with the first named Fight of the Year for 2018.

Langford, at the age of 29, moved up a division to super-middleweight and now attempts to become a two-weight Commonwealth boss, having also previously held the WBO Inter-Continental bauble.

A wealth of ring time is behind him as he prepares for his 25th pro outing, having seen the final five in separate 12-rounders.

His first title test at 168lbs comes against unbeaten prospect Richards, 27, who has moved to 11-0 with three stoppages.

The left-handed Londoner has met some big names in the training ring through sessions with Saunders, George Groves, Bradley Skeete and Chris Eubank Jr.

Langford has been in ‘southpaw school’ for his preparations with substantial rounds in the bank against fellow pro Shaka Thompson, at the Hall Green gym.

He said: “It’s really beneficial to have Shaka in the gym, he’s been my main sparring partner for this one and he’s a 6ft 3in southpaw.

“All southpaws are similar, to a degree, they have the same sort of tendencies and that relaxed counter punching sort of style.

“I’ve looked at Lerrone and, to me, it looks like he’s never fought anyone like me. He’s never done proper championship rounds and he’s never been in a real brawl.

“There are a lot of questions about him that haven’t been answered and, no matter how confident he is, that will play on his mind.

“I’ve heard the sparring stories about him but, at the end of the day, that’s not a serious fight. I’ve boxed southpaws before and done well against them.

“Lerrone is slick and clever and will want to show all of his moves but, if he can’t do that, I don’t think he has a second plan.

“I’m confident I can outbox him. I’ve always had skill. If I can deliver the tactics that we’ve been working on, I think I’ll get the win.

“I’ve got the experience he hasn’t and the ability to do a real boxing job on him. If I perform, there’s every chance that will happen.

“I don’t think many people are calling me the favourite, most fancy him or reckon it’s a 50-50 fight. I’ll flip that on its head and add a few things that aren’t supposed to be in the script.

“I’m on the other side of the card now, as the away fighter, so I was only ever going to get six weeks of preparation but it’s been a decent camp.

“They’ll look at the defeats and believe I’ve got chinks in my armour, but I’ve only ever been badly hurt once and that was to Khurtsidze.

“I was actually winning that, until he caught me! Then there’s the two with Welborn, both Fight of the Year contenders and we left it all in there.

“From a boxing perspective, I don’t think I really lost them, but the results are what they are and in the past now. It’s all about the future.

“This is important for me and, if I can come out on top, I’ll be in around about in the same position as I was before. That’s where I need to be.”

The fight will be broadcast live in BT Sport.

Tickets are available from Tommy via https://www.tommylangford.co.uk/tickets/