PITTSBURG, Kan. — Ethan “Mad Dog” Cooper is all set for his moment in the spotlight.
Fighting out of Neosho, Cooper (4-0-2, 2 KOs) will meet Kevin Brown (2-8, 1 KO) in the professional boxing main event at tonight’s “Clash at the Crossing 2” at Kansas Crossing Casino.
When he steps into the ring at 185 pounds, Cooper will be headlining an event for the first time since turning pro in 2018.
“I feel like I deserve to be in a main event by now, and I just hope to put on a good show,” Cooper said on Friday night ahead of the event’s official weigh-ins. “I want to show the fans that I’m a very skilled fighter and I deserve to be in the main event. I look forward to showing everyone what I’ve got.”
Cooper, who had around 40 amateur fights, trains with Dallas Cook at Heartland Boxing Gym in Galena, Kansas.
Cook noted it’s always a great opportunity for any fighter to be featured in a main event.
“I think this will be a confidence-builder for Ethan,” Cook said. “I think he realizes he’s good enough to be the main event. There are a lot of good fighters beneath him on the card. The biggest thing is to show his skills off and have a good fight. I know Ethan wants to make the crowd happy and give them their money’s worth.”
The 30-year-old Cooper is no stranger to Kansas Crossing, as he made his pro debut at the site on June 23 of ’18.
“Ethan’s done real well since then,” Cook said. “He’s kind of an awkward fighter. He’s hard to figure out.”
A 33-year-old cruiserweight from St. Louis, Brown has been fighting professionally since 2016. He’s coming off a win via unanimous decision last month against Michael Williamson.
“I think he’s a wild fighter,” Cooper said. “He’ll probably try to land a big shot on me, but I’m good at making people miss and then tagging them at the same time. I’ve been working a lot on secondary defense.”
Cooper is coming off a draw against Anthony Hollaway in October.
“The guy had probably 20 pounds on me,” Cooper said. “He was strong, but I think if it would have went one more round I would have knocked him out. I think I would have got him in the end.”
Cooper is also slated to fight at Buffalo Run Casino and Resort on March 14.
In other scheduled pro boxing bouts, Joplin native Jody Linthicum (2-8) takes on Lucas Queen (1-5) in a heavyweight bout, Jake Robinson (1-1-1) meets Brian Clements (1-4-1) in a welterweight clash, super middleweight Chris Thompson makes his debut against Aaron Looney (0-4), Edward Quinn (3-5-1) takes on Luis Galaviz (1-0) in a super lightweight bout and Louis Jimeniz debuts against Maurice Hicks (0-1) in cruiserweight action.
In a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout, Robert Perry meets Chris McKee.
JOPLIN SISTERS TO SQUARE OFF
In an amateur MMA bout, Joplin’s Tammy Cusick will square off against her sister, Tonya Cusick.
“It’s just something we both like to do for fun,” Tonya said. “We like to kick the crap out of each other.”
“Nobody else wanted to get in there with us, not yet anyway,” Tammy said. “We both have a lot of energy and a lot of spunk.”
The sisters, who have trained with Bobby Kelley for nearly a decade, said there will be no hard feelings after the bout, regardless of the outcome.
“We’re going to have some beers afterwards,” Tonya said.
“We’re best friends, but when we’re in the ring we’re enemies,” Tammy added. “It’s going to be fun.”
In another amateur MMA fight, Daniel Tyner takes on Aron Morris.
THIS ‘N THAT
Doors open at 6 tonight, with the fights scheduled to begin at 7. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the door. All ages can now attend the event, which is being promoted by Skip Stewart.