Fighting and charity—not really two ideas that fit naturally together. But hey, chocolate mixed with peanut butter was probably thought of as insane at some point in time, right?

Fighting and charity, however, is exactly what Haymakers for Hope is all about.

Started in 2009 by two-time New York City Golden Gloves champion Julie Anne Kelly and Andrew Myerson, Haymakers for Hope hosts amateur boxing events to raise money for cancer research. Since the charity organization’s inception four years ago, Kelly and Myerson have raised over $2 million.

Kelly, before her battles in the ring, overcame Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed in 2002. Co-founder Myerson, who has also competed in the Golden Gloves tournament, lost a high school friend to cancer. In 2011, he left his job at Goldman Sachs to run the charity full-time.

Even though the fights are labeled as amateur boxing events, the competitors in these bouts have little to no prior experience in combat training. Most, however, have an unfortunate familiarity with the disease, whether that means they themselves have overcome cancer or have lost someone to it.

The fighters, who come from all walks of life, are given four months to train with a legitimate boxing gym pro bono. To help spread the word about the cause and share some great stories, The MMA Corner will feature different gyms and their competitors leading up to the event on May 15 in Boston, which we’ll be covering live as well.

For our first installment, we went down to George “Monk” Foreman III’s gym, The Club, in South Boston, Mass.

Foreman III is, of course, son of legendary boxing two-time world heavyweight champion and gold medalist in the 1968 Olympics, George Foreman. Foreman III, a heavyweight boxer himself, is 16-0 with his last win coming via a TKO in December 2012. In this exclusive interview with The MMA Corner’s Zach Miller, “Monk” talks about starting his new gym down in Boston, as well as his boxing career, Haymakers for Hope and more:

Chris Rohland, 48, and Bill O’Malley, 35, are two of the competitors training at The Club. In this video, the two discuss how they heard about Haymakers for Hope, how training is going so far, and their thoughts leading up to their respective fights:

For more information, check out the Haymakers for Hope website.

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.