Johnnie Langston’s return to the cruiserweight division was a successful venture.

An entertaining cruiserweight battle saw Sarasota, Florida’s Langston outwork DeShon Webster en route to a six-round unanimous decision win Friday evening at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Judges Brian Garry and John Rupert had the bout 59-55 apiece, while judge Rocky Young scored the contest 60-54, all in favor of Langston.

On paper, Webster was in a good position to reverse his recent luck but Langston wasn’t having any of it. A briskly paced affair worked in favor of Langston who was prepared to fight every minute of every round. Webster wasn’t quite as game for the cause, boxing early but struggling once the fight went into the trenches.

Langston found his stride late in the fight, although he was well ahead on the scorecards by that point. The 31-year old Sarasota native tripled up on his jab, forcing Webster into a defensive shell for much of round five.

The sixth and final round saw Langston force the action while Webster struggled to swing momentum back in his favor. Langston punched in combination, also working the body whenever the two fought on the inside. Webster spent much of the final three minutes fighting in reverse or in counterpunching mode as Langston applied constant pressure until the final bell.

Langston improves to 9-3-3 (3KOs) with the win, his first as a cruiserweight since Jan. 2019. In between have come five of his last six fights at heavyweight, including a 3rd round knockout loss to unbeaten prospect Jared Anderson last June in the first US-televised show since the pandemic.

Webster’s tough luck continues as he is now winless in his last five starts. The 30-year old from Lenexa, Kansas had fought to a draw in three of his last four fights, along with a loss to Tervel Pulev—heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev’s younger brother—in between. Friday’s setback sends his record to 12-4-3 (6KOs).

The bout served as the chief support of a televised tripleheader live on Don King PPV. Headlining the show, unbeaten Trevor Bryan (20-0, 14KOs) faces former WBC titlist Bermane Stiverne (25-4-1, 21KOs) for the vacant WBA “World” heavyweight title. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox