Tommy Langford v Jack Arnfield

Tommy Langford: Jack Arnfield fight the perfect career boost

Published On Friday, February 16, 2018

Tommy Langford: Jack Arnfield fight the perfect career boost

Tommy Langford says a win over Jack Arnfield would be the perfect career boost after losing his unbeaten record last year.

The British middleweight champion makes a first defence on the undercard of WBA world super-middleweight champion George Groves' clash with Chris Eubank Jr at Manchester Arena on Saturday.

Langford (19-1, 6 KOs), 28, from Birmingham, is hoping that a victory over Arnfield (25-2, 6 KOs) will improve his world ranking after he was stopped in the fifth round by Georgia's New York-based Avtandil Khurtsidze in April last year.

"Beating Arnfield will put me up into the IBF and WBA top ten rankings and if the world title opportunity arises I will take it, or go for the European title," Langford told ESPN.

"I need to get back to winning fights. I wanted to get back into the ring as quickly as possible after losing to Khurtsidze, I wasn't scarred from it or anything.

"I don't really want to hold my feet, I want to push on and get back into the deep end.

"I sparred with Arnfield a long time ago and he's a decent boxer and earned his mandatory position after good wins against Brian Rose and John Ryder. It's good to be fighting someone who is a nice boxer instead of being awkward -- I've got to outbox him."

Langford insists he has learned from the Khurtsidze setback, which cost him a shot at fellow Englishman Billy Joe Saunders' WBO world middleweight title.

Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22 KOs) earned a shot at Saunders, but the fight never happened as he was arrested in June last year for his alleged role in a New York-based Russian and Georgian crime syndicate.

"I went into the fight fully confident I could beat him," Langford told ESPN. "I was technically a better boxer and beating him, controlling the fight, when I got caught.

"I made a mistake and at world level you can't be undisciplined. I let too many punches go through. He was looking for the left hooks and that's the difference between a world class puncher and domestic level.

"I've learned a great deal from it -- mostly that when you're operating at top level it's about the win and you don't need to be exciting if you don't need it.

"It's frustrating what's happened to him since and he's completely out of the picture now. I've got no doubt that given Billy Joe's boxing ability he would have picked him off all night long, which is what I should have done as well.

"Billy Joe has a better understanding of that level than I did at the time. It's in the past now, I've learnt a lot from it."