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Local Boxer Seeks Redemption Through Success in the Ring

SARASOTA – When Johnnie Langston was 13, he was the number-three ranked 110 pound fighter in the United States for his age division. But in a tale all too familiar, Langston got in with the wrong crowd, made some bad decisions and wound up doing 10 years in prison for armed home invasion. Langston has since turned his life around, building a 7-0 professional record, and seems well on his way to completing a great comeback story.

The 29 year-old Sarasota fighter turned pro as a cruiserweight in April of 2018, notching four wins that year. This year, he moved up to heavyweight, traveling to North Carolina in February to earn a big win over Joel Caudle, an 8-1-2 fighter who had nearly 30 pounds on Langston, as well as home field advantage.

Now 7-0 (3 KOs), Langston said that he's comfortable fighting in either division but thinks there might be more opportunities at heavyweight. And Langston's trainer/manager Harold Wilen said getting good opponents to risk their records against him has been a challenge, especially after the win over Caudle.

Wilen said that top-tier boxing promoter Lou DiBella was interested in having his fighter on an upcoming card but couldn't find takers.

"I have had multiple contacts the last few months with the DiBella people, and they are seeking an opportunity to get him on one of their shows as soon as possible," said Wilen. "Due to Johnnie's growing reputation in the boxing world, however, three boxers who were supposed to be on a DiBella show May 17, said they did not want to fight Johnnie."

Langston, a slick southpaw with a good jab and tight defense, is emblematic of the sort of fighter other boxers often avoid. For his part, he says he's intent to keep working in the gym and moving up the ranks, though he's eager for a chance to get to the next level.

"I'm gonna keep training and stay ready for when I get that call," said Langston. "I want to keep busy and keep winning fights, so that I can provide for my family and get to that world championship level, which is my goal."

Wilen, Johnny Williams, and Langston


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