It seems rather fitting that when the middleweight division’s top two stars collide at Limerick’s Thomond Park Stadium on September 19th
that the newest prospect hot on their heels, Tommy Langford (13-0) will provide the chief support to that main event live on Box Nation.
Travellers, Andy Lee (33-2) and Billy Joe Saunders (22-0) will make history when they clash for Lee’s WBO World middleweight title in what will be the first world title fight featuring two boxers from the travelling community.
Topping the undercard for the third time this year, Birmingham’s Tommy Langford, originally from Devon, will defend his newly-attained WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title against an opponent yet to be confirmed.
“I’ve got no idea of opponent yet but it’s likely to be someone highly-ranked as it will be a defence of my WBO title,” said Langford.
“It’s great news be boxing on such a big stadium event which will receive huge, worldwide attention so it’s great exposure and a fantastic opportunity for me. It’s another big chance for me to show my class and how I compare to the two fighters in the world title bout.”
The 26-year-old 160-pounder blasted his through the last two opponents in 2015 in style, first dismantling a game Wayne Reed (11-9) in five rounds on Valentine’s Day at the Wolves Civic and then stopping a tough, durable Mexican in Julio Cesar Avalos (15-4) on American Independence Day at The National Stadium in Dublin.
The February 14th
fight kicked off the year perfectly for the Bideford-born Langford, systematically breaking down the vastly experienced southpaw, Wayne Reed in front of a raucous home crowd in the West Midlands resulting in a fifth round stoppage that supported the controversial Stephen Ormond v Terry Flanagan WBO European lightweight title fight.
The Irish champion, Ormond was disqualified in the 10th
round for persistent use of the head thus handing over his honours to the younger Mancunian known to fans as ‘Turbo’.
Langford had Reed over twice in the fourth round with devastating body shots in a terrific display that pundits at ringside described as, ‘the perfect all round performance’.
Following up from that fine victory, Langford went one better by stopping Julio Cesar Avalos on July 4th
in Dublin via a fourth round TKO after trapping him on the ropes with under 20 seconds of the round remaining. This was both fighters’ first contest abroad and the quickest defeat of the North American’s career so far and only the second stoppage in five losses.
The 6ft tall middleweight’s maiden title fight was chief support to Jamie Conlan’s second successful WBO European super-flyweight title defence against Junior Granados on the co-promoted Frank Warren and MGM Promotions show titled ‘New Beginning’.
Langford was roared on to victory by a boisterous group of travelling fans that delivered great vocals for their sporting hero during the night in the 2,000 capacity arena in Ireland’s capital city.
This time, Langford will be on a much bigger stage at the 30,000 capacity arena that is the home ground of Munster Rugby, one of the most successful and best supported rugby clubs in the world.
“Obviously, I hope to get even more support next time round, to have the support come all the way over there to Ireland will be very appreciated. My fans are very vocal so I can always hear them when I’m in the ring,” praised Langford.
“I think that there’s going to be a lot of house parties in Devon and Birmingham and there’s a few bars around West Bromwich that are going to be showing it so it’s great for the fans that can’t make it that it’s on Box Nation.”
Langford added, “I’m chuffed to be on the show and to get this chance is huge for me. I had a great time over in Ireland last time and they gave me a great reception so I’m looking forward to going back again.”
The main event will make history as the first world title fight between two professional boxers from the travelling community.
Both fighters have already made history with Lee being the first ever traveller to be crowned world champion and Saunders as the first to win a Lonsdale belt outright.
Lee gets the home advantage when the two southpaws meet for his WBO World middleweight title in his own backyard, as is the champion’s privilege.
Challenger, Billy Joe Saunders gets his title shot which is long overdue and richly-deserved as the reigning British, Commonwealth, European and WBO International middleweight champion, and now he’s looking to add a world title to his hoard.
The Romany-Gypsy fighter from Hatfield will be behind enemy lines but has a large and devout following and seems to be well-liked by all boxing fans due to his down-to-earth and often humorous character.
For Lee, this fight is a dream homecoming and an opportunity to cement his position as WBO World middleweight champion with his first successful defence. The Irishman, who will be 32 when he faces the 26-year-old Saunders, won the title in dramatic fashion in December 2014 when he upset the odds in Las Vegas to take a sixth round TKO win over, then undefeated, Matt Korobov (24-0).
The match up makes for a perfect clash between the two travellers – Saunders brings the youth, speed, and slick evasive skills, and the champion has the title, the home advantage, and the devastating power that his last three world class opponents all felt – Peter Quillen (31-0) touching down in round seven, and Matt Korobov (24-0) and John Jackson (18-1) both stopped midway through their title fights at the hands of the Irishman.
The full undercard to be announced shortly.
Tickets are priced between €60 – €500 and will be available from Ticketmaster on 0818 719 300 or online at http://www.ticketmaster.ie/
Viewers can watch the show live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky channel 437/HD 490, Virgin channel 546 and TalkTalk channel 525).
Tommy Langford would like to thank his sponsors, MAN Commercial Protection
, Strategy Plus Web Design
, Action Graphics
, Panel Wizards
, Atlas Pain Relief
, Fighting Fit City Gym
, Ringside UK
and PR Manager Tim Rickson
To follow Tommy Langford on Twitter click here
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