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.

Check out the first installment of the series here.

In our second installment, The MMA Corner headed to Allston, Mass., to check out Ed LaVache’s Boston Boxing gym. LaVache, the gym’s owner, prides himself in owning an old-school gym where he breeds tough fighters and tough competitors. One of the gym’s latest is Haymakers for Hope competitor Marco Solia.

Solia, 28, discusses what drew him to the charity, as well as transitioning from hockey to boxing in this video interview from The MMA Corner.

In this video, one of Solia’s coaches, Joe LaFrange, discusses his student’s progress, as well as what separates Boston Boxing from other local gyms.

For more info, 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.