As the late Tom Petty sang in his 1981 hit song Waiting, "the waiting is the hardest part".
Alliance native Ryizeemion Ford, who was known as an amateur and for the first year of his professional career for staying active in taking fights would probably have no issues in agreeing with Petty as the 26-year-old is currently facing an almost six month layoff out of action.
"I'm very excited to be fighting again", said Ford who will return to the ring this upcoming Saturday night in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Shrine Center. "New Year, same mission. Take these boys out."
Coming off an unanimous decision victory his last time out in September over California native, David Angeles to improve his record to an unblemished 3-0, Ford knows he has to keep working hard to stay unbeaten and keep giving his ever growing fan base more to cheer about.
"It's growing day by day," Ford said of his popularity around his hometown. "A lot of people are knowing who I am without me saying anything and it's pushing me to work harder".
And working harder is what Ford has done this camp which included helping Pittsburgh prospect Matt Conway get ready for his match in Las Vegas against Gabriel Flores Jr. two weeks ago on the Fury-Wilder II undercard.
"It's great to get work with guys at a high level," Ford stated about his sparring sessions with Conway. "It helps me a lot and shows me where I am with my game".
With camp for this 4-round super featherweight bout against Cincinnati native Aaron Jamel Harris in the books, Ford will make the trip to the Pittsburgh area for the third consecutive fight after making his debut closer to his hometown in Northfield, a trip he doesn't mind making however.
"Pittsburgh is like a second home to me and I enjoy fighting there and building my fan base".
If Ford has his way, his fan base will have plenty of opportunities to see him this calendar year.
"I look to fight five more times this year if we can get guys to fight me".