Boxing preview: Avtandil Khurtsidze v Tommy Langford

This weekend will see WBO #1 Avtandil Khurtsidze (32-2-2) pitted against WBO #3 Tommy Langford (18-0) for the vacant interim WBO World middleweight title at the Leicester Arena with the BT Sport cameras at ringside.

As the pair faced-off this week, there was a sizeable difference between them. The six-foot frame of Langford towered over the 5ft6” bulk of Khurtsidze.

There are many similarities between them, however, both fighters won titles in successful amateur careers, each representing their native countries. They are currently topping the rankings in the World Boxing Organisation’s 160lbs standings after winning separate titles with the governing body.

Langford reached the heights of a #2 ranking after winning the WBO Inter-Continental strap against Mexican Julio Cesar Avalos in July 2015, and further defending the honours four times within the space of 12 months.

Vacating the strap to challenge for the British middleweight title – which he won via a split decision over Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy last November in Cardiff – meant that the Bideford-born six-footer has since dropped down to third-placed.

Sheedy is one of only two fighters to take points from Langford – Lewis Taylor won just a couple of rounds in Langford’s one-sided victory to claim the vacant Commonwealth title last March.

Known as ‘The Tornado’, Khurtsidze earned his lofty position by winning the WBO International belt with a 10th round beatdown over the heavily-favoured, undefeated Antoine Douglas in March last year.

The Brooklyn-based Georgian fights in the UK for the first time after the mandatory challenger to Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO World title accepted step-aside money to allow the champion to chase a bigger fight with a certain Gennady Golovkin with the interim belt as part of the deal for US resident.

The ‘Mini-Mike Tyson’ has won five major titles during his 15-year professional career, including the now defunct EBA middleweight title, the WBA Inter-Continental, IBO World, WBC Silver, and, most recently, the WBO International middleweight title.

His style is very much the same as Iron Mike’s in that he bobs and weaves his way in and throws quick, hurtful hooks and overhand rights.

Of his 21 knockouts, only one is a clean KO, the others TKO’s. He is not a one-punch KO artist, instead he swarms his opponents with unrelenting shots.

The Eastern European has been the 12-round distance on six occasions compared to Tommy’s much fewer two. He also boasts more knockouts on his ledger than Langford has had fights.

Going by form in their last fights, Khurtsidze produced a one-sided victory over Douglas whereas Langford just edged Sheedy in a split decision.

You can see why the experienced, aggressive Georgian is the bookies’ favourite but I think the outcome will be much different to their predictions.

Khurtsidze’s last loss came from Hassan N’Dam who used his size and reach advantage and almost toyed with him at times, dancing around with hands low, flicking jabs out and landing at will.

Khurtsidze style is menacing but it’s also draining and predictable. His punches are not concussive either. He landed plenty against N’Dam in their WBA World title fight but had no effect on him.

On the subject of fitness, let’s not forget that Tommy is 27, 10 years his opponent’s junior, and is known for setting a high pace.

Khurtsidze hasn’t fought for 13 months and gives away 10 years in youth and eight inches in height.

Langford will have an early storm to weather but once he gets through that, he will be well into his stride and will win on points.


We spoke with BetVictor’s boxing trader Benjamin Fayaz about the fight and cannot see a home win inn Leicester this evening.

“I think Tazman is rightly fav in this fight, wasn’t overly impressed with Langford last time out against Sam Sheedy that fight could have gone either way but Tommy got the split,” Fayaz told

“Khurtsidze has been knocking people out for fun lately and some decent fighters too so for me I can only see a Tazman win. Khurtsidze may have to get the job done inside 12 though we all know what the home judging is like in Britain!”


Related Posts

This website is strictly for over 18’s. If you do have any concerns about gambling please contact GambleAware
© 2023 The Gambling Times. All rights reserved.