By Frank Warren
Yesterday’s purse bid win could prove pivotal to the career of our unbeaten middleweight Tommy Langford.
The 27-year-old holds the mandatory spot for the British title held by Chris Eubank jnr and after winning the right to stage the fight, Eubank will have to put up or shut up.
As most people who have any previous when it comes to dealing with them will testify, attempting to second guess Team Eubank is anything but an exact science. What we do know, however, is that the British title does appear to hold a value to them.
Offers have been presented in the last year or so for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders, a challenge for the WBA regular title held by Danny Jacobs and, most recently, a shot at the three world title belts held by Gennady Golovkin.
The fact that two of those career-furthering opportunities were knocked back for a tilt at and then a defence of a domestic championship does suggest they won’t give it up without a fight and Eubank jnr remains two defences away from ownership of the belt.
That’s the theory anyway, although there is always very little method in the madness, so watch this space.
What we do know for sure is that our man Langford is more than up for the job in hand.
It is a logical next step for Tommy, who already holds the Commonwealth and WBO Intercontinental titles, and claiming the scalp of Eubank would afford him the greater exposure and credibility his talents deserve.
One thing is for sure, he will not be coming in just to make up the numbers.
By his own honest admission, Tommy is not a devastatingly powerful puncher, but he picks his punches well and it is an accumulation of well-timed shots that overwhelms his opponents.
He is supremely conditioned and able to maintain the same workrate from the first bell to the last. It was actually not until his 16th fight – against Lewis Taylor for the Commonwealth – that he was judged to have first dropped a couple of rounds.
He is at the point in his career where he is ready to step it up. Tommy is ranked at No.2 by the WBO and could jump straight into world title contention if he wished but, like Billy Joe before him, he wants to prove his worth at every level before competing for global honours.
You rightly wouldn’t get the credit you deserve as a world champion if challenges on the home front were given a swerve.
A Langford victory would certainly leave the Eubanks pondering the wisdom of a few swerves of their own that they may live to regret. A look at the bank balance could well bring about a few sighs of ‘what might have been’ had it not been for a few lost paydays.
When it comes to signing up for this one, it won’t be Tommy mislaying his biro.