Meet the Participants: Matt Rkiouak



What is your boxing nickname?

il brutto

What music are you going to play as you enter the ring?

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

What inspired you to take part in this year's event?

I'm not really the type of person to get inspired to do too many things. This sounded like an excuse to stay in shape and be a mildly productive member of society, so it had a lot of things going for it.

Plus my boss was one of the organizer's and my girlfriend was doing it too, so how could I say no?

But on a slightly more serious note, I got a great reason to stay in shape (don't want to get beat up or embarass myself) and raised money for a very, very worthy cause. With my work at GenoSpace, I'm very aware of the impact a cancer diagnosis has on a person's life and I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to raise money while doing the athletic stuff I'd already be doing either way.

What has been the toughest part of your training so far?

Staying away from the gym long enough to properly recover. I've skinned my knuckles on the speed bag and hobbled myself for a day or two after doing too many 2-a-day workouts in a row!

Who is your boxing inspiration or favorite boxer?

Muhammad Ali

What has been the most enjoyable part of training so far?

I really enjoy a personal challenge and pushing myself harder than I have before, so I've enjoyed a lot of the training. I most enjoy the technical aspect of stepping in the ring to spar or just practicing slips and weaves while working the heavy bag. I don't think someone who hasn't tried boxing can understand how much of an intellectual as well as physical sport it is.

Have any of your preconceptions about boxing have been changed since you started training?

No one understands how long 3 minutes really feels until they've sparred a 3 minute round. I guess I'm in for even more of a lesson during my first 2 minute fight round.

What is your greatest sporting achievement to date?

I've run some half marathons, done a winter of workouts with November Project and a lot of other fun athletic activites, but never a ton of competitive sports. Played on a 11 person freshman high school, and then J/V, football team?