Tommy Langford will buoyantly start a “new chapter” when he joins the super middleweight division next month.
The former British middleweight champion steps up to 168lbs for the first time at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday March 9.
The 29-year-old features on BCB Promotions’ show at their most often used venue, with the bill titled ‘Pride of the Midlands.’
‘The Baggies Bomber’ will have the support of West Bromwich Albion fans behind him, as a season ticket holder and columnist for the match-day programme.
The Devon-born Brummie began life in Bideford, but went on to settle in Birmingham asa teenager. His dad, David, was born in Dudley and he still has family in the Black Country.
A rebuilding process currently awaits Langford, after relinquishing and failing to regain the British crown in two blistering clashes with Jason Welborn.
Two barnburners with Welborn in 2018 led to him outpointed on a pair of split decisions, leading to Langford deciding to leave middleweight behind.
That journey continues with his next fight night, where six-round action will begin to get him used to the different path that lies head,
He still dreams of achievements at the top level, having previously competed for an interim WBO world title unsuccessfully.
Avtandil Khurtsidze shattered those dreams in five rounds, handing Langford what remains to date his only TKO defeat.
He’s also held the Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental straps during his pro career and retains a thirst for further honours.
He said: “It’s been hard to make middleweight the whole time, to be honest, and I was always big at the weight. I just didn’t feel strong by the end of it.
“I look back at a few years ago and I had more power but, in the past 18 months, I felt like it wasn’t coming through because I was weight sapped.
“When you’re a champion, you carry on going along with it but, when that’s gone, you have to admit that it’s too hard.
“All I could do to get to the limit was run like crazy but, when that goes too far, you can end up wasting away muscle.
“I’ve always had a good engine, perhaps that’s what has got me through to the end of some fights. Those two with Jason Welborn are perfect examples.
“I want a reputation for being in exciting fights and me and Jason certainly managed that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get those decisions.
“Of course, I don’t like to lose and it’s not been easy when that’s happened, but I have to move on and leave that in the past.
“I was proud to be a part of what the British Boxing Board of Control named their Fight of the Year, that’s not a bad thing to be remembered for.
“It’s a new chapter for me now. I feel better already at super middle and I’m on the same team now I’ve joined up with BCB. It’s funny how boxing works out sometimes.
“The next two years are massive for me and I think it’ll only be a win or two before I’m back in the mix, but I also suspect there will be one or two that’ll avoid me.
“I don’t think most of the domestic title holders would pick me out as an opponent, but I’m prepared to work myself into a mandatory position if I need to.
“The only way a good number of them can beat me is to knock me out, because they are not likely to outbox or outwork me.
“I’m willing to box in the UK, around Europe and the US if opportunities comes up, which can and do happen in this sport.
“The first time I need to deliver is March 9 and I want to put on a good performance. After that, I’ll be bouncing back in a big way.”
The Midlands super lightweight crown will be contested at the top of the Town Hall bill, with champion Connor Parker defending against Cori Gibbs.
Parker and Gibbs have an added incentive past area honours, too, with the bout approved as an eliminator to Robbie Davies Jr’s British title.
Elsewhere on the undecard, reigning Midlands middleweight ruler and English title challenger Tyler Denny, from Rowley Regis, is scheduled for his 14th outing as a pro.
Talented welterweight Tommy Ghent, from Coseley, has racked up eight victories (three TKOs) without reply but hasn’t boxed in nearly a year.
Wolverhampton’s Conah Walker, a protege of the legendary Ricky Hatton, has a hat-trick of paid successes. The Merridale Boxing Club graduate turned over last September.
A fourth win will also be the target of Burntwood’s Troi Coleman. ‘The Hawk,’ a former kickboxer, has three points verdicts under his belt so far.
Lightweight prospect Connor Lee Jones, of Brierley Hill, appears for the third time as a pro with two wins under his belt, both over the distance.
Black Country girl Kirstie Bavington, from Wolverhampton, completes the card with one success and a draw from her two paid affairs.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It’s £40 for entry on the door.