|Photo Credit: Rick Kruszynski/WFC|
Tucked away in Stark County with a small portion of its city limits bleeding over to Mahoning County, Alliance finds itself in the middle of the Youngstown and Canton media markets.
While some might be confused as to what metropolitan area Alliance belongs to, there is no confusing that the city embraces its championship tradition which is evident with the huge sign welcoming visitors to the city, home of the University of Mount Union.
Mount Union Purple Raider football has dominated the NCAA Division III ranks for a span of over 20-years now having won 13 national titles since winning its first in 1993.
Now in the early stages of his pro career, Alliance native Ryizeemmion Ford is taking his city by storm and looking to add some championship signage to the city's boundaries in the future.
Ford, 26, is currently 2-0 since making his pro debut in June with a first-round knockout victory followed up by another opening-round TKO victory a month later in July.
"We had about two, two and a half weeks after my last fight and we got right back into it and started camp six weeks ago with lots of strength and conditioning making sure I'm toned up and strong," said the lightweight of his two-month layoff from his last fight.
Slated to be back in the ring next Saturday, September 21st at The Meadows Casino and Racetrack in suburban Pittsburgh against 1-0 California native David Angelas, Ford doesn't see any added pressure to get an early stoppage.
"We just going to take it slow and if the opportunity presents itself then we will go in for the kill".
Though he's only two fights into his pro career, Ford knows that he has a community watching his every move as his popularity will continue to grow with every victory.
"It's crazy especially knowing how I came up coming from nothing," Ford said of the support he's received from around town. "To have a troubled background and have people come up and ask me for an autograph it's amazing and humbling".
If everything goes to plan, Ford will likely be back in action in early November in Pittsburgh with a possibility of another date as early as October.
With his talent and attitude, the sky is the limit for Ford and its great to see the wonderful City of Alliance starting to realize the special talent they have representing them.