By Scott Gilfoid: Chris Eubank Jr. will be defending his British middleweight title against challenger Tommy Langford in his next fight. Langford’s promoter Frank Warren won the purse bid for the fight and he’ll be the one putting the match on. Like in the 26-year-old Eubank Jr’s past two fights, he’s deciding to put his emphasis on fighting domestic level opposition rather than facing high quality contenders.
Langford, 27, is currently ranked #2 with the World Boxing Organization, but he’s not seen as one of the more talented fighters in the top 10 rankings by a lot of fans. Langford (17-0, 6 KOs) has been mainly fighting domestic level fighters and having problems getting knockouts over this level of opposition.
The date for the Eubank Jr. vs. Langford fight has still yet to be determined. Langford is currently holding the Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight straps. In Langford’s last 10 fights, he’s beaten the following obscure opponents: Timo Laine, Lewis Taylor, Robert Swierzbinski, Cristian Fabian Rios, Julio Cesar Avalos, Wayne Reed, Gary Boulden, Nicky Jenman, Alistair Warren and Dan Blackwell (5-28). With those fighters being Langford’s last 10 wins, it’s very hard for me to understand the WBO’s rationale behind having him ranked at #2 with their organization. I’ve seen Langford fight on a number of occasions, and he looks very pedestrian to me and nothing like what you normally would see from a fighter with his #2 ranking with the WBO.
I certainly don’t believe that Langford should be ranked above the following fighters in the WBO’s rankings:
3. Ryota Murata
4. David Lemieux
6. Hassan N’Dam
7. Rob Brant
8. Maciej Sulecki
9. Chris Eubank Jr.
10. Andy Lee
11. Gabriel Rosado
13. Ievgen Krhytrov
14. Curtis Stevens
15. Willie Monroe Jr.
I believe all of those fighters are worlds better than Langford. Of course, I don’t think that would change anything as far as Eubank Jr. wanting to fight him. Eubank Jr. is defending his British middleweight title, and Langford is the next guy he has to defend the strap to. It’s not about Langford’s world rankings. It’s more about him being the next guy in the British title rankings.
I can’t begin to try and understand what is going through Eubank Jr’s mind for him to want to waste time defending his British title. It seems like such a backwards move for him. His career is stultified right now by him choosing to mess about with the British strap rather than moving up to the higher level fighters.
Eubank Jr. (23-1, 18 KOs) has a good chance of fighting the winner of next month’s clash between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Kell Brook. If Langford is Eubank Jr’s preparation to fight the winner of that contest, then you have to say it’s a less than high quality tune-up. I mean, you hate to see Eubank Jr. going from facing the likes of Langford to facing Golovkin. That’s not even a slightly decent tune-up in my opinion.
To get ready for the whirlwind attack from a tremendous puncher like Golovkin, Eubank Jr. should be fighting someone like David Lemieux, Tureano Johnson, Daniel Jacobs, Peter Quillin or Andy Lee. Eubank Jr. needs an opponent that can at least crack eggs with their power punches. Langford seems like a swell fighter with a very high work rate, but I see him as a carbon copy of Tom Doran.
Eubank Jr. just finished knocking out Doran in the 4th round last in a mismatch at the O2 Arena in London, England. I see Langford as Doran 2.0. I don’t understand a fight like this. I would hope that Eubank Jr’s promoter Eddie Hearn at least tried to talk some sense into him by telling him to bin the British middleweight title and focus on fighting the top world class contenders so that he can build up his skills, his name and prepare for a much tougher fight against the winner of the Golovkin vs. Brook match.
Eubank Jr. had part of one of his sparring sessions uploaded on Youtube this week, and he did not look impressive at all during the session. Eubank Jr. was sparring with a short fighter that looked like a welterweight, and he had all he could handle from him. Just based on what I saw from this sparring session, I think Eubank Jr. would lose to Kell Brook if the two of them were to face each other. I think it goes without saying that Golovkin would be too much for Eubank Jr, and that fight would likely end in a sick knockout of Eubank Jr.
“I’m delighted Frank Warren has won the purse bid and that I’ll be fighting for the famous Lonsdale Belt,” said Langford. “I need a scalp of his magnitude to project my profile and Eubank is one of the biggest names on the scene at the moment.”