The Contenders: Langford, Speight & Day – Prayers and Best Wishes for Nick Blackwell
Picture of Tommy Langford (c) Queensberry Promotions; Picture of Ben Day supplied by Ben Day; Picture of Jamie Speight (c)Sport South Devon/Matt Green
There are three championship boxers from Devon, all flying the flag for the home county – Bideford’s Tommy Langford, Kingsteington’s Jamie Speight and Teignmouth’s Ben Day.
All three Devonians have moved away from home to further their boxing careers and each one has achieved title glory by doing so and plan to challenge for more belts this year.
The Contenders will keep you updated with a monthly column exclusive to Sport South Devon on their respective journeys to the top of the world.
Bideford’s Tommy Langford:
“Quite a lot has happened since my last column for SSD; I’ve now won my second professional title – the Commonwealth middleweight belt – to add to my WBO Inter-Continental strap, and I’ve become a dad for the first time, so it’s been a month of celebrations for the Langfords during March!
“First of all was my fight with English middleweight champion Lewis Taylor. He was a lot better than expected but I came away with a unanimous decision with scores of 118-110, 118-111 and 118-111, meaning that I only gave two rounds away.
“In the build-up to the contest, I had colds and injuries and was in hospital regularly, picking up a cut in sparring just weeks before. The extended training camp eventually took its toll on me and I was mentally tired more than anything.
“It was my first 12-rounder and I learnt a lot. It wasn’t a super-clean performance but I’ve got another title around my waist and I’m now ranked second in WBO World rankings!
“My next award came on Saturday 26th March at 7:18am! My wife Leanne gave birth to my son Freddie.” – Tommy Langford
“Then, my next award came on Saturday 26th March at 7:18am! My wife Leanne gave birth to my son Freddie; he’s an absolute beauty and I’m as proud as punch!
“Leanne and I have been completely overwhelmed by all the messages from family, friends and fans, so I’d like to say a big thank you to all.
“I’d like to conclude with a message of support to Nick Blackwell. Nick is a friend of mine and I wish him a speedy recovery. My thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.”
Kingsteington’s Jamie Speight:
“I had a good two weeks’ rest after my loss to Matthew Chanda on March 19th. The referee Kieran McCann scored the 10-round championship contest at 98-94 to my opponent from Hackney.
“I’m now feeling ready to hit the ground running again on Monday! I’m back feeling refreshed and positive again.
“I’d like to say thank you to my sponsors for their support during the last fight: – Uğur Gem Kucuk of Gems Taxis, Newton Abbot; Jay Southard of Jay’s Scrapyard in Plymouth; Gary and Kate Taylor of K2 Hair Salon in Newton Abbot; Ian Stone of Pro-tect Security, Paignton and, of course, my main sponsor Darren Toms of JEM Scaffolding, Plymouth.
“You are all great people and it’s the generosity of companies like this that enable professional fighters in the area like myself to get more out of their training camps. I cannot be any more grateful for your help and support, so thank you.
“I’d also like to take the opportunity ask that my mate Nick Blackwell is kept in everyone’s thoughts and prayers as he is certainly in mine.” – Jamie Speight
“I’d also like to take the opportunity ask that my mate Nick Blackwell is kept in everyone’s thoughts and prayers as he is certainly in mine. He is a warrior and put it all on the line against Chris Eubank Jr. in their British title fight on Channel 5. I wish Nick and all his loved ones the very best during this difficult time.”
Teignmouth’s Ben Day:
“It took them this long to get to me! March 5th saw me enter into my 10th professional contest, my first ten-rounder, my third title fight and ultimately my first career loss (Editor – read the full Moore v Day report here).
“As the final bell sounded that night, the entire York Hall crowd were on their feet in sheer appreciation of what they had witnessed, it was small hall boxing at its absolute finest.
“Even though I lost, I feel like I won. I’m so proud of my performance; I’m still a champion in my eyes.
“Officiating referee, Keiran McCann scored the contest at 97-95 to the bloodied Floyd Moore, so it was extremely close but I thought, as well as my corner, that I had done enough to win and the first thing that he said to me afterwards was that it could have gone either way.
“Even though I lost, I feel like I won. I’m so proud of my performance” – Ben Day
“Many were in agreement but I’d like to say huge congratulations to Floyd Moore; he’s a great champion and we entertained the crowds that night by leaving it all in the ring.
“I got a canvas made up of him celebrating the win a few days after the fight and he got in touch to thank me for the gesture.
“Since the fight, I’ve had amazing feedback from everyone. I’ve received more credit for my loss than any of my wins! My promoter, Steve Goodwin has offered three top boxers a fight with me – all three have turned it down!
“Pray for Nick Blackwell.”
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