Jesse Cook is ready to get back into the ring.
Cook (17-1-1), from Seneca, Missouri, ends a layoff of almost two years Saturday, June 25, as the headliner of the first-ever professional boxing card at Pittsburg’s Kansas Crossing Casino + Hotel — “Clash At The Crossing.”
“I am looking forward to it,” said Cook, who has fought 11 of his 19 pro fights in Miami. “I want to put on a good show. The biggest problem is our gym being gone.”
He’s been paired against Brandon Baue (12-13, 10 knockouts) of Troy, Missouri, in a six-round welterweight fight.
Baue has lost his last 10 fights, six by knockout or TKO, but was a winner in six of his seven previous outings.
In his last time out, Baue lost by first-round TKO against Celso Ramirez (6-0) on April 13 at the Minneapolis (Minnesota) Armory.
“He’s got a lot of knockouts for his wins (10), so he’s nobody to take lightly,” Jesse Cook said. “This guy’s last fight was in April, so he should be in good shape and I haven’t fought in two years.”
Cook has been idle since knocking out Bulmaro Solis on June 25, 2016, at Buffalo Run Casino.
“It seems like its been forever,” Cook said.
A fire in March gutted the Heartland Boxing gym where Cook and numerous other talented youth amateur boxers train.
His father, Dallas, is the owner/trainer of Heartland.
They’re currently using temporary locations until a new facility in Galena is ready in a couple months.
“A couple gyms in the area have been letting us use their gyms for the time being — that’s a big help,” Jesse Cook said.
Jesse Cook has been juggling training for boxing with a full time job. Plus, he is helping with plans for a wedding in October.
“He’s been running short on time, but it still will be good,” Dallas Cook said. “He’s really been busy.”
The co-main event has Grove’s Tim Bronson (3-8, 1 KO) facing Justin Ridgway (5-2, 3 KOs) of Arlington, Virginia, in a heavyweight clash.
Cook is one of three Heartland fighters who will be on the card.
Light heavyweight Ethan Cooper and cruiserweight Joe Carriker will make their pro debuts.
Both have mixed martial arts backgrounds and both are Kansas City Golden Gloves champions.
Cameron Park of Houston-based Rock Solid Promotions is the promoter of the card.
The casino, located south of Pittsburg, opened in March of 2017.
“I have never been there until about a month ago when I went up to talk to them about the show,” Jesse Cook said. “It (The Corral) is a smaller venue, but it looks it will really be pretty nice.”
“They have had several concerts and comedians and they wanted to give boxing a shot and see what kind of a crowd they can draw,” Park said.
“They seem to be excited about having it,” Dallas Cook said. “I have had a lot of people calling me wanting to know what they need to do to buy tickets, so it should be pretty good.
“I think they will sell out.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. with boxing starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets, starting at $25, can be bought at the Kansas Crossing Casino website, www.kansascrossingcasino.com.