Exclusive: Tommy Langford reflects on Avtandil Khurtsidze loss, vows to return a better fighter

Joe Hewlett 03/05/2017

Tommy Langford has vowed to come back better and stronger following his defeat to Avtandil Khurtsidze at the Leicester Arena.

The middleweight suffered a fifth-round knockout in the hands of the Georgian and missed out on the opportunity to take on WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders next.

“It was hugely disappointing with the outcome, knowing I was ahead on the scorecards is pretty irrelevant because I got caught by a very good shot. It was a very good left hook but I’ve learned and taken a lot from, it looking back,” Langford exclusively told World Boxing News on reflection of a first career reverse.

“I think there are things that were needed to have been learned before the fight and if they had been then I wouldn’t have made the same mistake. I wasn’t out of depth, I was out-boxing him but I hadn’t been in the position of fighting someone like him before.”

On what went wrong, the ‘Baggies Bomber’ has admitted he may have been a bit too confident after a successful fourth round and had expected to finish the fight early. However, having been dragged into a slugfest, Langford was sent to the canvas and tasted defeat for the maiden time in his professional career.

“I was really starting to come into the fight and was very comfortable having had a good fourth round I think I went out into the fifth booming with confidence. Normally when you’re fighting against someone lower down the rankings, if you have a very good round then the next round will be easier and their head will drop.

“My opponent knew he couldn’t outbox me, his sole plan was to knock me out and unfortunately for me in the fifth I gave him that opportunity and instead of making a jab, moving and being more disciplined in my work for the next couple of rounds before making sure the fight was safe, I threw a one-two right hand and he then fired a massive left hook which I swallowed flush,” he said.

Looking onwards and upwards, the middleweight is hoping to be back in world title contention sooner rather than later.

“Ultimately it is disappointing as I know I could have been involved in a huge domestic world title fight against Billy Joe Saunders but I’ve learned a lot from my first fight at world level. Now I’ll come back to the domestics and defend my British title and then aim to get back up there with the likes of Saunders in the future.

“I don’t decide who I fight next, that’s up to Frank and my team but whether it’s Craig Cunningham, Jason Welborn or whoever, I really don’t care, I’ll fight anyone.”

Langford added: “I spoke to Frank (Warren) straight after the fight and he said the same thing as me, I made a blip and paid the price but I’ll have a rest and we go again.”

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95