TOMMY LANGFORD returned to North Devon on Sunday after a triumphant first fight as a professional boxer.
The former Bideford amateur was back in his old gym to say thanks to the supporters who made his debut a night to remember.
Langford showed trademark speed and accuracy for a rousing win against Steve Spence at the HMV Institute in Birmingham on Saturday night.
He said: "I couldn't have wished for a better debut really. "Fifty or 60 people came up from Devon and I have got to say a huge thank you to them. "They made the atmosphere incredible."
Having sold 150 tickets – more than any other boxer on the show – he was roared on by passionate fans during the four-round fight.
The former England amateur captain made a confident start, patrolling the ring and working behind the jab.
By the second round his superior movement was troubling Spence who was taking punishing combinations and struggling to find the target in return.
The Scunthorpe fighter was wobbled in the third and holding on for a breather as the shots rained in.
Spence looked exhausted in the final round and was caught by a speedy right cross which sent him crashing to the canvas.
He only just beat the referee's count and did well to make the final bell with Langford looking to please his fans with a knockout.
"He was a tough customer and I was really rocking him sometimes," said Langford.
"If it had gone on for another round I'd have definitely knocked him out.
"The fight would probably have been stopped in the second round if it was amateur boxing because I would have given him several standing counts."
Langford switched to the paid ranks after a successful amateur career with Bideford and later Hall Green ABC, in Birmingham where he now lives.
His first professional fight followed a similar pattern to many of his amateur bouts, with speed and fitness giving him the edge.
"I didn't find it hugely different," he said. "You have still got to hit without getting hit.
"No headguards obviously was the big difference. Before the fight that was the only thing I was nervous about.
"It's a bit more brutal I suppose. Not that you see that side of it because it's technical but you have just got to hurt someone a bit more to finish them off."
After resting this week, he will return to training tomorrow in preparation for his next bout.
"I didn't get any cuts or clashes of heads," he said. "Body-wise I'm pretty fresh to go again.
"I can't wait to get back in there after that one. It was wicked."
Langford is scheduled to box again on a dinner show in Birmingham on October 19. Tickets are £60 and the evening includes a three-course meal and a title fight. To find out more call Richard Grigg on 07949 770616.