From staff reports
Professional boxing returns to Joplin on Saturday night.
Seven boxing matches — all but one scheduled for four rounds — and three mixed martial arts bouts will be held at the Holiday Inn Convention Center.
The 7 p.m. program — doors open at 6 — is presented by Budweiser and the Heartland Boxing Club of Galena (Kan.). Skip Stewart, Galena, is promoter.
The weigh-in will start at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Blue Rose, 32nd & Rangeline.
BJ Flores, who’s world ranked as a cruiserweight, will be the ring announcer. The Willard (Mo.) fighter is 27-1-1.
The boxing six-round main event is a rematch between Springfield heavyweights Will Grover (8-1) and Justin Ridgway (3-1).
Grover, 30, has lost only to Kevin Bookout in a bout held at Drury University in Springfield. Ridgway, 28, has lost only to Grover on Oct. 15, 2011 at Drury.
Seneca’s unbeaten Cook brothers — middleweights Jesse and Dillon — are on the card. They are members of the Galena Boxing Club.
Jesse Cook, 26, is 6-0 with all knockouts. Jesse will face Alfred Walker of Muskogee, Okla.
Dillon, 22, is 3-0, Dillon will tackle Jeremy Mier of Broken Arrow, Okla.
The Cooks recently logged wins in a show at Wichita. Jesse stopped Cameo Curry of the Topeka Boxing Club. Dillon beat Jeremy Parks of St. Joseph.
Heartland heavyweight Landon Dirks, who lives in Carl Junction, will enter the ring for his second career fight against Brandon Carmack of Kansas City, Mo.
Featherweight Trey Horton, Miami, Okla., will make his pro debut against Billy Stimmel of Muskogee.
Completing the boxing matches are Jose Gonzalez, Springfield, vs. Aaron Derrow, Kansas City, Mo., middleweights, and Jeff Page, Wichita, vs. Quintell Thompson, Columbia, cruiserweights.
The three-round MMA bouts are Paul Schultz, Neosho, vs. Robert Perry, Miami, 160; Luis Valverde, Miami, vs. Jodie Linthicum, Galena, heavyweights, and Colton Cavener, Joplin, vs. Chase Epperson, Miami, 135.
Tickets can be bought today in Joplin at the Blue Rose, E-Lisa’s Beauty Salon and Classic Floors.
Tickets include a $75 VIP, $50 ringside and $20 general admission. General admission tickets are $25 at the door. The VIP tickets, available only at the Blue Rose, include a prefight dinner with Flores at the Holiday Inn.