Justin Ridgway is finishing preparation for his heavyweight co-main event in Saturday’s “Clash at the Crossing” in Pittsburg, Kan.
The longtime Springfield resident is 5-2 as a pro, and he will move up from cruiserweight to heavyweight to take on Tim Bronson (3-8) at Kansas Crossing Casino.
Thursday at Fight Game Boxing Gym, Ridgway worked out with Ike Stafford, who has trained Ridgway for almost 25 years. The 33-year-old fighter said he relishes the opportunity to headline an event so close to home.
Saturday’s co-main event will be an emotional bout for Ridgway. His 80-year-old grandfather, whom Ridgway calls his hero, was recently diagnosed with cancer and may see his grandson box for the final time this weekend.
“To find out he has cancer and that his days are numbered, it really motivated me,” Ridgway said. “It made me want to get back in the ring and go out there and perform for him.”
He recalls growing up watching “Friday Night Fights” with his grandpa and his brothers, and credits them with fostering his love for the sport.
“Papa, I love you. I dedicate this fight to you,” Ridgway said directly into the KOLR10 camera. “Stay in there. Chemo starts Monday. We’re going to kick cancer’s butt.”
Click here for ticket info for Saturday’s “Clash at the Crossing.”