Edmonton boxer 'always ready to fight'


Ryan Ford has never been one to turn down a fight, even on short notice.

Just a couple of weeks after winning the UBO light heavyweight world title, Ford is stepping back into the ring and up a weight class to take on Rob Nichols in the co-main event of KO Boxing 78 at the Shaw Conference Centre on Friday night.

“I’m always ready to fight,” said Ford, who improved his record to 10-0 after defeating Sam Rapira in a ninth-round TKO last month in Singapore to win the UBO belt.

“In this sport, you always have to stay ready, because you never know when you may get that call.”

This is Ford’s first fight at cruiserweight. After returning home from his title win in Asia, KO Boxing promoter Mel Lubovac asked him if he’d be willing to fight again on short notice.

Despite the move up in weight class, Ford doesn’t feel he’ll be at any disadvantage when he steps into the ring.

“He may hit a little harder than the guys I’ve fought in the past, but I’ve sparred with heavyweights,” said Ford. “I’ve even sparred with Rob in the past. I know what he’ll bring.

“Just because he’s got a little weight on me doesn’t mean I can’t punch. I guarantee you he’ll feel it on Friday night.”

Ford has been very impressive inside the boxing ring after making the switch from the mixed-martial-arts cage.

The 35-year-old has climbed the ranks and is considered to be one of the top light heavyweight boxers in Canada.

In just over a year since making the move to boxing, he’s posted a 10-0 record, with six knockouts.

Getting a world title shot and taking home the UBO belt shows that Ford isn’t waiting for his chance to make an impact in the sport — his time is now.

“It was a big accomplishment for me because I’ve only been boxing for a year, but I truly believe this is just the start of bigger things to come,” said Ford.

“I come in, and I put in the work, and I get the job done. I’ve sacrificed a lot to make this happen, and it’s only going to get bigger and better every step I take.”

In Ford’s last fight against Rapira, he was dominant. He went nine rounds and dominated Rapira with several big combinations, and the former New Zealand national champion looked overmatched.

“After the first couple of rounds, I knew I was going to finish the fight. I never like leaving it up to the judges. He was tough, but my game plan was to break him down and finish the fight,” said Ford.

Nichols (11-3-1) is the Canadian cruiserweight champion. The Fort Kent, Alta., product is coming off a TKO victory over Michael Walchuk in November.

The Canadian cruiserweight title will not be on the line in this match as Ford plans to stick to fighting at light heavyweight in the future.

REST OF THE CARD: In the other main event, Red Deer Cam O’Connell (14-0-1) will face Mexico’s Oscar Barajas (16-3). A victory over Barajas could put O’Connell in line for a shot at the Canadian lightweight title.

In the heavyweight division, Edmonton’s Stan Surmacz Ahumada (6-0) takes on Cold Lake’s Tim Chemelli (3-1).

In the welterweight division, Edmonton’s Mike McWilliams (5-0-3) will fight Mexico’s Arturo Lujano (8-6).

In other action, Edmonton’s Eric Taylor (5-1) will battle Saskatoon’s Kye Sabo (3-2-1), while Patrick Lafleur and Rhett Gibbons will each make their professional debuts against each other.

E-mail: hillsyjay@gmail.com