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British middleweight champion Tommy Langford is not underestimating his latest challenger, Jason Welborn, despite two failed attempts at the British crown before

Two-time British title contender Welborn (22-6) has landed a third shot at a Lonsdale belt in the third different weight class against reigning champion Tommy Langford (20-1) on May 4 in Walsall.

The British championship bout on the Black Country Boxing event at the Walsall Town Hall between the two West Bromwich Albion FC fans has been billed by promoter Errol Johnson as the “Battle of the Baggies”.

Although Tividale’s Welborn has a brace of failed efforts at the Lord Lonsdale belt, the reigning 160-pound champ has promised he is not taking his next opponent lightly, “I am not underestimating Welborn, he’s had two stabs at the British title before, but lost both times, so he’ll be up for this one against me,” said Langford.

“I know he’ll be up for this, as there’s bragging rights at stake. There’s been a bit of back and forth on Twitter between us and the local rivalry makes it an exciting fight for fans.”

The 31-year-old Midlands Area welterweight champion challenged Langford’s former gym mate Frankie Gavin for the British welterweight crown – also at the Walsall Town Hall – five years ago in 2013, felled by a body shot in the seventh round.

The following year, he stepped up to challenge for the British title again, this time entering the ring as the Midlands Area super-welterweight champion against a future world champion in Liam Smith, which again saw the challenger finished by a body shot midway, one round earlier in the sixth.

Welborn won his pro debut back in 2005 in under two minutes against an unbeaten opponent in Jamie Ambler and has since been involved in 10 championship contests, initially becoming a Midlands Area titlist in just his ninth professional fight.

He is the current WBC International Silver champion – his third professional title – and comes into the fight off the back of three good wins, flooring Casey Blair twice in December 2016, defeating an unbeaten Marcus Morrison for the WBC strap a year ago, and he bloodied Christian Haskin Gomez to win on points last November.

Now the two-weight Area champion aims to add the Lord Lonsdale belt to his expanding collection, this time at middleweight against his local rival after constantly calling him out on social media channels.

The defending champion enters the ring on the 124th day of the year as the favourite after comfortably seeing off the no.1 challenger to his Lonsdale belt live on ITV Box Office last February on the undercard of the WBSS semi-final between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr.

The former England amateur champion defeated mandatory opponent Jack Arnfield (now 25-3) at the Manchester Arena with scores of 117-113 and 116-113 twice, in a maiden defence of the vacant title (formerly Chris Eubank Jr’s before moving up to super-middleweight) he collected against Sam Sheedy (17-1) in November 2016 with a split decision verdict.

Despite being born in Bideford, North Devon, the Weoley Castle resident has family located in the Black Country where his dad, David, originally hails from.

The football fan has always been a lifelong season ticket holder at the Hawthorns and now writes a regular column in their match day programme after the club took him in as one of their own.

The Premier League club have got behind the Baggies fan in his boxing career, inviting him onto the pitch during match days to showcase his belts and celebrate title wins, the fans renaming him as the ‘Baggies Bomber’.

Welborn also professes to being a staunch Baggies fan, but Langford dismisses those claims, “He says he’s an Albion fan, but I’ve never seen him at the ground before, so you can read into that what you want. He claims to be a Baggies fan, but he also confesses to not being a football fan, which is probably why I’ve never seen him at a game!”

Langford urged fight fans to get tickets quickly, “It’s a smaller venue than I’m used to so tickets are going very fast. I would love all the support I can get from my fellow Baggies!”

Tickets available to buy from https://www.tommylangford.co.uk/

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