|Photo credit: Ric Kruszynski/WFC|
Sometimes the sport of boxing is all about timing.
Inside the ring a fighter often finds himself timing his opponent's attacks in order to execute the perfect counter-attack and land that devastating blow while outside the ring a young up and coming fighter needs to make the most valuable use of his time and keep active, which is the case for Alliance native Ryizeemmion Ford.
Ford, who decided earlier this calendar year that the time was right for him to turn pro after having one of the most prolific amateur careers in Northeast Ohio in recent memory, will enter the ring for the second time as a professional in as many months keeping to the plan laid out by his management to keep him busy.
"We plan to keep Ryizeemmion busy and right now there is a lot going on in this region," said Pittsburgh native Derek Gionta who is part of Ford's management team. "You have a handful of promoters doing shows which is good for boxing and especially young fighters looking to gain experience. The good part of having this kind of action in Pennsylvania and Ohio is you get tougher, more competitive matchups for the most part since these are two of the best states in the country for boxing".
With Ford's management team based out of Pittsburgh, Ford is excited to fight in suburban Pittsburgh but does not feel any added pressure to try and impress the fan base in what could become his home away from home.
"No added pressure," said Ford of his upcoming bout in the Pittsburgh area. "I will fight the same wherever I go. It's just another day at the office for me".
While Ford might not feel any pressure to impress the fans on Saturday night, he's beginning to realize that he's becoming somewhat of a celebrity in his hometown.
"It means a lot because I never really had much attention before and I realize now that I have to lead by example for anyone who is looking up to me," said the 26-year-old Ford of the overwhelming support he's getting from the residents of Alliance following his first-round TKO victory over Michael Russell last month in his pro debut.
Ford, who will take on 29-year-old Shan Rall (0-2) of Cleveland in a four-round lightweight contest at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead on Saturday night says he might not have changed many things up for this camp from his training for his debut but feels he's more ready to go.
"I'm just pushing myself harder every time I receive an opportunity to prove myself," said Ford of his training. "I've gotten a lot more sparring in for this fight than before my debut and it gave me a lot of different looks".
While the electricity surrounding his pro debut may have died down a little bit, Ford does not plan to have a sophomore slump in the ring and will continue to treat each bout as important as the one before.
"I'm always excited to enter the ring because this has always been something I wanted to do so I will always treat each bout like my first one".