The World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-finals this weekend between George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr is the biggest fight of 2018 so far.
With the headlining fight at the Manchester Arena so huge, it’s only fitting for the undercard to be bursting at the seams too.
There are three more tantalising title fights on the bill this Saturday, the standout championship contest of that tasty trio is British middleweight champion Tommy Langford (19-1 6KO’s) defending his Lonsdale belt against the mandatory challenger Jack Arnfield (25-2 6KO’s).
Both come into the fight following a bout of inactivity – Arnfield’s last championship fight was in March last year, Langford’s in April.
Their respective results were opposites apart – Arnfield defeated Blackpool favourite Brian Rose (29-4-1) on points, and Langford lost for the first time in his career to crazy Georgian Avtandil Khurtsidze (32-2-2), who’s now locked up behind bars in America on a RICO charge.
After an extended delay with purse bids and contracts, both fighters took part in a keep busy six-rounder before the end of 2017 to dust off the ring rust.
Langford defeated tough Nicaraguan Miguel Aguila (11-37-1) at the First Direct Arena on October 21, dropping him with a series of body shots in the third-round en route to a 60-53 points win, and Arnfield also claimed all six rounds in his fight with Adam Jones (6-26-5) at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool on November 4.
Both fighters have a lot of shared qualities such as their excellent jabs, high work rates and technical ability; their stature is also similar as they are each over six-foot in height with a long reach, and both aged 28.
It’s an intriguing match-up between the two top middleweights in the domestic scene, and two that are very similar in style and skill, making it a tasty title fight for the fans.
It could be a fight where they both meet in the middle to establish their dominance, jabbing it out in a technical yet exciting battle.
Although rangy, Arnfield is the more likely subject to take the backfoot and go on the defensive, as I can’t see Langford being controlled or forced back. If that does happen then I expect the Birmingham boxer to be the busier of the two, despite the challenger’s high work rate.
Despite all of their similarities and closeness in levels, I think Langford has more dimensions to his game and will win on points in a very close contest.