TONIGHT'S fight against Brendan Batty will be the biggest in the professional career of Ryan Langham, and while it is no longer a shot at a world title, a victory will put him on track to achieve that dream.
Langham (14-2, 5 KOs) had been preparing to take on Junio Farzan Ali for the vacant WBF world lightweight title, but the Indian fighter has pulled out because it is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
His new opponent is Batty (16-25, 11 KOs) and they are fighting for the IBO Asia Pacific lightweight title at the Southport RSL.
“This is by far the biggest fight of my career, and something that will get me to where I want to be, which is in the top 10, to give me a shot at the title,” former Olympian Langham said.
“At the start of this year I moved to Currumbin Fight Factory under Greg Walker (and his father Bob) and I've trained the house down. I've got the backing of some new sponsors and it is time to step the act up, get something to give me a shot at a world title.”
Langham, 29, hasn't let the last-minute opponent change affect his preparation.
“My preparation has been good. I had been training for 12 rounds, but it has gone down to 10 now. The fact is we wanted to go down anyway. The opponent has changed right at the end of preparation, but that doesn't matter, I am ready to go.”
Batty has won only two of his past eight fights, but Langham is wary of his opponent, who has a noted right hook.
“It will be a tough bout. I have never fought him and never sparred him, but I've seen him fight a number of times. I used to train with his brother in my amateur days, and he will corner for Brendan. He knows me well, so it should be a good, technical fight,” he said.
“The people he has in his corner have trained me, and know me pretty well, so he is going to have the upper hand in that aspect. In boxing, one punch can be the difference between a win or a loss, and Brendan has a good right hand on him, so I am going to have to box smart.
“But at the end of the day, those people aren't going to be in the ring fighting. They might be able to give him a few little tricks, but at the end of the day I am the better fighter.
"I don't care, I will just go in there and do the business, and should come up with the goods.”
A victory tonight will give Langham an IBO top 10 ranking and a shot at the world title.
If that happens, Langham would love to bring the world title fight to Australia.
Another Tweed fighter, Casey Hannan (5-2-1), will also step into the ring tonight, to fight Caloundra's Craig Hill jnr (2-0) for a state title.
The other fight on the card is between experienced fighters Nadine Brown, from Matrix gym, and Sarah O'Connell, from Wayne Parr's gym.
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