Langford’s bout against Avtandil Khurtsidze for the interim world title was stopped in the fifth round

Tommy Langford will have to wait for a shot at the WBO World Middleweight title, after Avtandil Khurtsidze came out of the interim world title tilt on top.

Khurtsidze knocked Langford down early in the fifth round, countering a quick one-two from the Bideford-born boxer with a huge left hook.

Langford got back to his feet before the count was up, but referee Phil Edwards stopped the fight.

It’s a first loss at the 19th time of asking for Langford, and in a match-up where he was very much the underdog, he was just beginning to make a case for himself when the final blow came.

Khurtsidze made no bones of showing his game plan in the opening rounds, keeping out of Langford’s reach by getting low, before reaching in to try and land the big hit.

The Baggie Bomber got caught a few times in the opening two rounds, with Khurtsidze’s left connecting more than Langford would have wanted.

However, when round three got underway, Langford started utilising his gameplan a little better. Throwing quick combinations and moving away from the Georgian before he could get close. However, he suffered a set-back when a clash of heads opened a cut above his left eye.

The fourth round was Langford’s strongest. He kept busy and kept Khurtsidze moving – something the Georgian looked to be struggling with by the end of the round.

If the fight had gone beyond the fifth round, it could very well have been a much different outcome, but Khurtsidze’s blow was a stark reminder for Langford that this fight required 100 per cent concentration.

Unfortunately for him, his opponent had the power and skill-set to punish the lapse when it came.