(16-0) v Ronny Gabel
(21-5-1) WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title 10x3
Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental middleweight champion Tommy Langford (16-0) defends his WBO strap at the Ice Arena in Cardiff on July 16th
on the undercard of the top domestic showdown between unbeaten champions Liam Williams and Gary Corcoran for the British and Commonwealth super-welterweight belts, live and exclusive on BoxNation TV.
Birmingham-based Langford’s challenger comes in the form of ex-German national champion – Ronny Gabel (21-5-1), 31-years-old from Berlin.
BBN caught up with the 26-year-old, originally from Bideford, on fight week to get an insight into just what the days preceding a title fight are like.
Monday 11th July:
“First thing that’s a bit different to a lot of fighters is that I like to train every day, right up to the fight.
I have my breakfast and coffee as usual on this morning then I hit the gym at 10:30am for a two-hour session, not intense work so just ticking over and keeping my body moving.
The main thing is making weight in the last week, I’m just losing water really and it’s spot on as we speak. Having a day before weigh-in means you can put a bit more training in on fight week and rest on the day of the fight.
I get home at around 1pm and have lunch as usual. I usually have carbs to fuel my training but I drop the intake in the last week so it’s just chicken and vegetables for lunch and the same for dinner.
I’ll probably do an evening run this night for around 40 minutes to an hour, nice and light, not intense.
The lack of carbs makes me feel tired so I’ll be in bed by 9pm. Whether I get to sleep straight away or not is a different story but I’ll be resting by that time in bed anyway.”
Tuesday 12th July:
“Today is spent doing cardio, so that’s on the cross trainer, some skipping, sweating it out basically. It depends how I’m feeling but there’s not a lot going on from here on to the fight. Just eating the right food, training when I’ve got to, playing with my son Freddie and trying to act as nice as possible at home and not being too grouchy!
I spend time getting my kit ready for the fight and getting ready for the weigh-in. All you think about on fight week is the weigh-in first, above all else. Everything is focused specifically on that, I don’t even think about the fight, just the weigh-in.
I stop punching on this day, might do some shadow boxing in the gym but all cardio work from here onwards.”
Wednesday 13th July:
“I have to do my check-weight on this day, I’m under what I’ve got to be already so I’m fortunate. I end up doing the CNP meal replacement shakes from this day forward.
I concentrate on doing as little as possible from Wednesday onwards; just chilling out, watching films playing with Freddie and spending time with my wife. Genuinely, do sod all from here on out!”
Thursday 14th July:
“I get grouchy all week anyway but it’s particularly hard on this day when you’re really making weight.
I can’t talk to people and one reason is that I’m not in the mood anyway due to the hunger but also because you’re getting your head into the zone and no one understands the process of what you go through.
You go into a different place to perform and that’s the reality of it, I am
rude on fight week, I won’t talk to you or entertain you, I just don’t care what people say to me about what to do and how to do it; I don’t want to hear it. I’ll talk to anybody afterwards but not before.
I imagine extreme sports athletes are the same in a potentially life-threatening sport and situation, they don’t want to hear from people who don’t understand.
I feel a bit of pressure to perform well from critics because they are in their job to create a discussion but not from fans.
I have a little session of around 30-minutes on Thursday night, very light.”
Friday 15th July:
“We’re driving down that morning to Cardiff, me and my trainer Tom. It’ll be a nice and easy drive down and then I’ll chill out in the hotel before weigh-in and then scran-up, and have a nice steak on Friday night! I eat all chicken all during camp so can’t look at another one of them so it has to be beef on Friday night.
My wife won’t be coming to this fight because she’ll be staying in with our little baby, who’s a bit grumpy at the moment because he’s teething.
I just get a nice, early night in on Friday night before the fight.”
Saturday 16th July:
“I’m normally up early on fight day; I wake up and have a full English breakfast and I start to become a nice person again after being a grouch all week!
It’s just me and Tom [Chaney] together, we keep it quite low key, just a two-man team.
Then, I have a little walk after breakfast to let the food go down, and then it’s back to eating good again so chicken, rice and veg at 3 or 4pm just before I go to the venue.
I try to get a little nap in during the afternoon. It’s not all glam like people think it is, there’s a lot of waiting around and sitting around doing nothing.
I keep myself to myself, so do most other boxers, really. I’ve got my routines that I like, most teams are the same, they’re all close-knit and stick together.
I don’t answer the phone to nobody, the only people I speak to are my dad, my brother and my trainer. I might give my wife Leanne a call before the fight but mostly speak to her after the fight.
It’s just business as usual, you’ve got to get your mind on the job so you need to be secluded for most of the time. I’m pretty relaxed from Friday onwards, once the weigh-in is done. Closer to the fight, I pick myself up again and start to get excited.
There’s a different sort of nerves before you fight. It’s being able to control your anxiety and that can separate the elite fighters from the good ones. You’ve got to put yourself in the right frame of mind to do the job. If you’re too nervous then you’ve got to talk yourself back down again, if you’re too relaxed then you’ve got change that and hype yourself back up.
The opponent doesn’t even cross my mind on fight day. You train to neutralise their strengths all through the camp so you don’t think about it on the day, I just think about me and what I’ve got to do.
I enjoy the whole thing even though it might not look like it in my face! There’s the concentration factor but I do enjoy the whole experience of fighting, from the ring walk onwards.
The more people in the arena, the better it is. It feels like I’ve arrived, and this is me. That’s what I want to do, to entertain with my fighting style on the big stage.
I’d like to say thank you to my new sponsors Bartercard, UK Display Stands and JS Wright & Co. They have all come on board and allowed me to make this camp stress-free and just perfect, really.”
To follow Tommy Langford on Twitter, click here @Tommy_Langford1
Tommy Langford would like to thank his sponsors Bartercard UK
, UK Display Stands
, JS Wright & Co Ltd
, MAN Commercial Protection
, Strategy Plus Web Design
, Atlas Pain Relief
and Fighting Fit
, City GymRingside UK
and PR Manager Tim Rickson