During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Hope NYC in New York City on November 16th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether they've had first hand experience, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from McKay Claghor, fighting out of Church Street Boxing Gym in New York City.

Where are you from?
New York City

Where’d you go to college?
Cornell University

Did you play any sports growing up?
Lacrosse, soccer, squash

What do you do for work?
I’m on the equity trading desk at RBC Capital Market

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
After school I was definitely curious about boxing but never lived close enough to a boxing gym to pull the trigger. So when I heard about Haymakers I decided to force my own hand and make it happen. I was constantly playing sports throughout school, so grew accustomed to being active. In adjusting to the real world I realized the importance of maintaining that outlet, especially given the less frequent competition in contact sports. It's as much for the mental benefits as the physical – where you can unload the stresses of the day, clear your head. And you can't be distracted in the ring; boxing demands focus, readiness to react. I think Mike Tyson said it best: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." So I'm excited for the challenge of preparing for the unplanned.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
As far as direct impact, I lost grandparents to cancer. But I really empathize with those who have seen loved ones battle cancer earlier in life. I think we all feel that, and it shows in the donation support from friends and family – even strangers. It’s inspiring to see so many people come together for a cause that clearly affects all of us, even if indirectly. My firm is heavily involved with MSKCC as well as Ronald McDonald House with our big annual event, RBC Race for the Kids, on September 16th, and I’ve recently become a supporter of For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation which helps cancer-battling families from a different angle. The past few years I competed in the D10 which benefits Memorial Sloan Kettering, so I was naturally excited about another shot to contribute to the (literally) vital work being done there. To have the opportunity to test myself physically while also raising money for such an important cause – it doesn’t get much better than that.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Summer and Fall weekends tend to be a bit indulgent given the warmer weather, so I think maybe a few Saturday nights won't be able to reach their full potential. But that’s ok – after the fight they’ll just be that much sweeter. I can guarantee one thing: it's gonna be a bad day to be a turkey in my household on Thanksgiving.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I definitely try to stay active given most of the day I’m in a seat staring at screens. I still play on a spring/summer lacrosse team, and a few years ago I started playing golf so I’ve become increasingly obsessed with that game.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Is it bad that I can’t decide between coworkers and friends?

Be sure to check out his fundraising page here and wish him luck! Best of luck, McKay!