North Devon boxer Jack Langford shows Yorkshire grit
JACK LANGFORD rounded off 2012 in style with victory over a Yorkshire champion.
The Bideford boxer won his rematch against Luke Keleher in a top-of-the-bill clash at Halifax Star ABC.
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Representing Sheffield City, where he attends university, Langford is a North Devonian making his mark in South Yorkshire.
The former Exeter City under-18s footballer is proving equally handy with his fists.
Keleher, of Hebden Bridge, had narrowly beaten Langford in a contest for the Yorkshire Belt at Doncaster in May.
"I have fought him before and he beat me last time, so it was quite nice to get one over on him," said Langford. "He's quite an aggressive fighter and he keeps coming forward and I was catching him.
"In the second round I caught him with a nice one and gave him a standing count."
A unanimous decision took his tally to two wins from three this season, giving him confidence for the England ABA Championships and British Universities and Colleges Championships in the new year.
In Sheffield, Langford has played football for Hallam in the Northern Counties League.
Back home in Bideford for Christmas, he hopes to be part of the Witheridge squad in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League.
"In the past, I have been splitting my time between boxing and football but at the moment I'm doing a lot more boxing," he said.
"When I'm up in Sheffield I'm training in the Sheffield City gym every day.
"Our uni boxing club is linked with the Sheffield City club so I'm doing double the sessions."
The hard work paid off last year when he won a national title in the NACYP Junior Championships in Essex.
Having started boxing with Bideford ABC, Langford got into the sport through his older brother Tommy who is now a professional.
"We did karate originally, then Tom decided he'd like to do a bit more boxing so he dragged me along," he said. "We used to spar quite a lot – it got interesting at times.
"I quite enjoy the physical fitness and the training.
"After a battle, even if you've lost, it's always a nice feeling. You know you have been in there and done it and you feel good about yourself."
The passion for sport has carried through to his studies.
Langford, 20, is in the final year of a degree in sports, culture and society and is writing a dissertation on crime reduction through participation in boxing.