People live with the cards fate dealt them with. Others may have the odds favoring their lives, while some have to keep on living with everything stacked against them. For Shane Langford, boxing was supposed to be his ticket to grandeur.
But glory inside the ring will never be his. Despite his impressive amateur career in his native Canada, the 32-year old 1999 Canadian National Amateur Boxing Tournament bronze medalist was, according to him, mishandled by the people who were supposed to look out for him.
When he turned professional in 2000 at super bantamweight, Langford’s first two bouts were against a very seasoned veteran in Steve Molitor, who had 30 victories in 31 bouts at the time.
Needless to say, Langford’s lack of experience in professional prizefighting, plus the fact that his first opponent was a highly-skilled boxer delivered Langford his first two losses.
He will taste his only victory in his third fight opposite a fellow Canadian boxer Sheldon Wile, who was then 2-0. All succeeding fights ended in a loss, except one bout which resulted in a draw.
After his fifth professional bout, Langford, now a homeless boxer living off in the streets of Los Angeles, met Pepper Roach, Freddie Roach’s brother, and he was taken under the care of the famed boxing trainers/siblings.
The Roaches tried to reignite Langford’s career, but despite it all, Langford’s dreams of becoming a world champion seemed to have never been etched in stone.
The final blow came from Jorge Espinoza when Langford faced him in April 1, 2005. Langford suffered his final loss via a tremendous beating at the expense of his left eye. The punishment he took closed his left eye forever.
The cards dealt to Langford are cruel to say the least. Losing a career in general and an eye in particular is a double whammy indeed. Langford’s professional boxing career ended with the record 1-7-1.
But fate may have other things planned for the former brawler from Canada. After recovering from his last bout, Roach offered him a job as custodian of the world-renowned Wild Card Boxing Club.
Under Freddie Roach’s tutelage, Langford immersed himself with knowledge of the Sweet Science the boxing guru has to teach him. Eventually, Roach allowed him to train his own fighters and have Langford assist him when Roach is working with top-class boxers.
Prominence and popularity also came to Langford when he was featured in the award-winning series 24/7 Pacquiao-Hatton. Today, Langford has his own droves of fans and a short list of clients, mostly amateur boxers.
Read my Q and A with Shane here