Its been years in the making but the time has finally come for Alliance native Ryizeemmion Ford to make his pro debut tomorrow night in Northfield at the MGM Casino.
Ford, 25, had a very prolific amateur career which saw him do battle more than 60 times while winning multiple Cleveland Golden Glove titles as well as competing in the National Golden Gloves tournament on multiple occasions.
With nothing left to prove at the amateur level, Ford came to the realization it was time to take the leap into the pro ranks, a decision he announced earlier this year in February.
"I've been waiting for this for a long time and I'm just ready to weigh in so I can smash some food", said Ford with a hint of laughter in his voice.
Though training for a pro fight has its similarities to training for a pro bout, Ford was quick to point to the differences in his mental approach for his professional debut against 32-year-old Bowling Green, OH native Michael Russell in a 4-round super featherweight contest.
"Training for pros is different by my focus being different because I'm fighting for something bigger this time" stated Ford. "I started my hard training further out than I would have for amateurs because I'm fighting longer and I have to be ready".
While Ford will have to dig deeper than he has mentally and physically at the pro level, the fact that he's able to make his pro debut so close to home and knowing that he will have a strong fan base in his corner to go along with his trainers Lorenzo Scott and Greg Sampson is a great feeling for the fighter known by many as the Humble Beast.
"It's very exciting", said Ford on fighting close to home. "It's special because I have the opportunity to have my city come watch me perform and that means a lot".
Ford won't spend to much time celebrating if he comes out victorious tomorrow night.
"I'll probably take it easy for a week after and then I'll be right back in the gym doing what I do best since I might have a fight in July in Pittsburgh which is pending confirmation".