Reason for Participating
Cancer has effected us all in one way or another. In 2008 it took my grandfather Peter Stylos from us. When my training partner gave me the details of this event and the cause it supports I saw it as a unique opportunity to use my grit and athletic ability to join the fight against cancer. The story of how I got here is below.
November 19th I was with my main training partner Justin "Forza" Deflumeri watching an MMA event at Combat Zone in Manchester NH. Justin assisted this charity 2 years ago and began his boxing career right here at this very event, boxing against cancer for A Bout to Benefit. At that point he said, "you know, you should really think about boxing. You should do it for the charity. you got the tools. We just have to get you ready". Next thing I knew I was at the December 12th meeting and getting my fight camp together.
"Irish" Micky Ward
TOUGHEST PART OF TRAINING
Juggling all of the aspects of training camp while working overnights 5-6 days per week was definitely the most challenging part. I have trained on heavy bags and done some mitts in the past. But putting all the aspects of strength, conditioning, mitts, bag work, and live sparring together week in and week out with a career and limited sleep was most brutal. Often I had to tactically decide what days to over-train and what days to rest to ensure every aspect of fight camp was complete and no corners were cut. I had to push my body to limits it hadn't reached before.
MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF TRAINING
Believe it or not the weight cutting has been most enjoyable. Although I'm still a super heavyweight, I am now a more effective athlete. For us big guys the benefits of a weight cut are usually positive in the long run.
Also, being a fighter out of Lowell Massachusetts carry's yields a great sense of pride in itself. I am proud to participate in this city's great boxing culture.
HAS YOUR VIEW OF BOXING CHANGED?
One preconception that has been reinforced is that speed and timing kills. You can be strong as an ox, but if you cant move effectively or read your opponent you will not land a single punch, and certainly will not win. For those who have not fought before or participated in a sparring class I would like to say that boxing is not about how can swing the most, or who hits the hardest. Its like a version of physical chess. You have to set up your moves and figure out your opponents strategy.
GREATEST SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE
Honestly, this fight camp and making this bout is definitely my greatest achievement to date. I would even say it supersedes my achievements playing collegiate football.