An Interview with WBO Intercontinental Boxing Champion Tommy Langford

WBO Inter-Continental middleweight champion Tommy Langford (13-0) has been making waves recently as he tops the bill at Wolves Civic 3rd October in what is set to be his most exciting fight yet, but did you know that he has ties to the Jewellery Quarter? The JQBID caught up with Tommy to discuss his success, his big fight and his experiences working in the JQ.

How long have you been boxing for?
Since I was 11, so about 15 years. I was actually a football player to begin with and got into boxing so I could train up and get better at the game. As soon as I joined the gym I was almost full-time, then by three months I had won my first seven fights and was hooked.

Congratulations on your recent victory in Dublin against Julio Cesar Avalos–how does it feel to be crowned WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Champion?
I’m ecstatic! It was a good fight but winning the title just makes me more focused on becoming world champion. Boxing is as much of a mental sport as it is physical, you can’t get complacent or you risk losing your composure and any chance you have of climbing further.

Speaking of composure, your fight at Wolverhampton Civic Hall will be your first time headlining in your three year professional career, how are you feeling about it?
Brilliant. I was nervous the first time I fought professionally but now it’s more of an adrenaline rush. You see the crowds and you see their excitement and then realise that it is all for you. They came to see you, to support you and that’s a great feeling. The fight is also going to be televised on BoxNation, so that’s an extra boost and great exposure for me. It gives me confidence and makes me want to give the fans a good fight.

How did you break into professional boxing?
I owe it to Frank Warren. I had a good amateur career and was aiming to compete in 2012 Olympics, but just missed out–my face didn’t fit and it never happened for me. I never got the ‘Big Platform’, like the Olympics. I won seven out of seven bouts in small hall shows before getting spotted by Frank. I’ve always wanted to be signed under him, he’s part of old school boxing and knows the business so he can see my potential and ambition.

Let’s talk about the Jewellery Quarter, how familiar are you with the place?
Very well. Strategy Plus, who are based in the Big Peg are actually a main sponsor of mine and I can’t thank them enough. I’m a personal trainer at Fighting Fit City Gym, although my professional career is taking precedence at the moment they are very understanding of that. The Quarter is a great place for white collar boxing too and some of my clients have or do work here. I like grabbing a coffee from Saint Kitchen and sitting in St Pauls Square, you meet a lot of people passing through there you get to know and in the summer its a good place to unwind.

What attracted you to work in the Quarter?
Neil Perkins from Fighting Fit actually contacted me after I finished Uni to ask if I would be interested in a job there and it was a great opportunity. Neil was very supportive and gave me the flexibility I needed to work around my career. Working there also taught me about the business side of boxing, because the actual fights are only part of a much bigger picture. I learned a lot from Neil and the others but also from my clients, some of whom are now close friends. The Jewellery Quarter is a tight-knit business community and is really close to the city center, with great ties to it. It’s a great location for someone in my profession and I feel privileged to be apart of it.

Unbeaten, Tommy Langford (13-0) will defend his newly-attained title against Argentinian champion Christian Fabian Rios (20-6-3) at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in the main event of the co-promoted Frank Warren and P.J Rowson show 3rd October 2015. You can also catch it  live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525). For tickets to the big fight, or for more about Tommy, please visit his website www.tommylangford.co.uk

Follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_Langford1