In a clash of Baggies die-hards, Tommy Langford defends his British middleweight title against Jason Welborn next month.
The intriguing clash, which sees Birmingham-based Langford’s textbook skills pitted against the relentless pressure of Welborn, takes place at Walsall Town Hall on Friday, May 4.
It is 28-year-old Langford’s second defence of the belt he won in November, 2016. The Devon-born fighter outpointed mandatory challenger Jack Arnfield less than two months ago. Tommy has been beaten only once in 21 fights.
Tividale terrier Welborn, 31, pounded Marcus Morrison for the WBC international silver title a year ago. He’s lost six of 28 contests.
“This is a massive fight,” said Errol Johnson, head of Black Country Boxing, which promotes the show. “Tommy and Jason are two of the best middleweights in the country.
“Tommy is well known for being an Albion fan and Jason is a massive Baggie, too, so it adds a little bit of spice to the fight. The whole of West Bromwich and the surrounding areas will want to be at this one!
“It will have huge local interest, we are sure. It will be a packed-out venue full of Black Country fight fans who will witness what is sure to be a Fight of the Year contender.”
Tickets are on sale now from Walsall Town Hall box office priced at £150 VIP Ringside and £50 Standard – 0845 111 2900. The show will sell out, so purchase your tickets immediately to avoid disappointment.
* Red-hot featherweight prospect Raza Hamza has Travelled to the Land of the Rising Sun, but it’s no jolly for the unbeaten Birmingham big-hitter.
Hamza from Handsworth Wood will act as sparring partner for one of the true Oriental superstars. Raza will work with thunderous-punching Naoya Inoue, known in Japan as The Monster.
Inoue, who has won all 15 pro bouts inside the distance, meets our own Jamie McDonnell for the WBA world bantamweight crown at Ota-City gym, Tokyo, on May 25. Many have Inoue a warm favourite.
Raza, aged 25, flew to Tokyo yesterday. Unbeaten in nine, he was positively buzzing over the opportunity when we spoke.
“Imagine how much I’m going to learn,” he said. “That’s what I want to do – test myself against the best.
“I’m over there for two weeks, it really is a dream. I’ve never been to the country before.”
* It’s now official – the mouthwatering, all-Solihull clash between Ryan Kelly and Kelcie Ball for the vacant Midlands light-middleweight title is off.
No reason has yet been given, but it’s understood those behind 9-0 Ball wanted their man to serve a longer ring apprenticeship before a major title fight.
The bout was to have taken place at Aston Villa’s Holte Suite on May 19. Kelly is still on the show and will fight for the belt, he confirmed yesterday. The boxer in the other corner is yet to be confirmed, but Ringside believes Stoke’s Owen Jobburn (4-2-1) is among those being considered.
Kelly, aged 24, said: “The Ball fight has gone. I’d got an inkling, but it’s disappointing. Kelcie was a good challenger, but I think I would’ve done a job on him.”
* Marauding Jamie Cox has bagged himself a barnstormer of a contest.
The 31-year-old, part of John Costello’s Chelmsley Wood gym, faces former British super-middleweight champ John Ryder at Greenwich’s O2 Arena on May 5.
It’s a sensible match for Cox, stopped by George Groves for the WBA title last October.
Ryder is a banger, but can be fragile. It looks like being a glorious, free-swinging affair.
* One of the game’s most colourful characters, Matt Windle – professional poet by day, fighter by night – is back.
The 27-year-old, twice named Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate, will feature in an eight-rounder at Villa’s Holte Suite on May 5. An opponent has yet to be named.
It’s a welcome return to action for Matt, who hasn’t thrown a punch in anger since being outpointed by Brett Fidoe at the same venue over a year ago.
A back problem and reshuffle of backroom staff sparked his sabbatical from the sport. Matt is now trained by Dave Lovell.
The pint-sized puncher said: “Yes, there was a stage when I didn’t want to box again, but I knew if I made that decision one day I’d regret it.
“From a boxing perspective, everything was going wrong so I decided to take time out.
“The idea is to take this one at super-fly, then work towards a Midlands title at flyweight.”
* Brummie prospect Kaisee Benjamin confirmed his place in boxing’s exciting new tournament at Villa Park with a performance that reminded ringsiders of genius Vasyl Lomachenko.
The 22-year-old from Chelmsley Wood utterly bamboozled Rudolf Dorica over four rounds – and his next fight could be seen by millions.
Benjamin puts his head-scratching skills to the test in ‘Ultimate Boxxer’ at Manchester Arena on Friday, April 27, an event that brings together eight unbeaten welterweights to scrap it out for a £50,000 prize fund.
Celebrities will be at ringside and big music acts will perform on a night when millions of internet fight fans are expected to tune in.
The winner of three, three-round fights will win the top prize – and Benjamin says he will be taking a few of Lomachenko’s moves into the ring with him.
The brilliant Ukrainian is near the top of most pound-for-pound lists and aims to become a three-weight world champion in only his 12th fight when he challenges WBA lightweight boss Jorge Linares on Saturday, May 12.
“I have my own style,” said Benjamin, “but people have said there are bits of Lomachenko in my boxing. I do watch a lot of boxing on YouTube. I see it as a good way of adding to my boxing IQ. I see what works for the great fighters and look to add it to my boxing.
“I like to be unpredictable. I like to improvise, the way Lomachenko does, and I don’t think anyone really wants to fight someone like me. I’ve got the skills and I’ve got the heart as well. I can stand and fight if I have to. Sam Eggington will tell you that. Sam doesn’t pull his punches when we spar. We’ve had some wars.
“I’ve shown I can do the fancy stuff on the small-hall shows.’’
Benjamin and Eggington are stablemates at the Eastside gym and chief Jon Pegg has said Benjamin “can be a big name.”
Tickets for the Manchester show are available from Benjamin’s Instagram and Twitter pages, kaisee_official
Source : BirminghamMail