During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Rumble VIII in Boston on May 17th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether their mom is battling, 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 Joe Silva, fighting out of the Jim McNally Boxing.

Where are you from?
Deep down I’m still a Villen, as I spent my childhood playing “relievio” on the streets in Somerville. Sophomore year of high school I relocated to the City of Sin, Lynn Ma where I’ve truly laid my roots.

Where’d you go to college?
Salem State Undergrad for Business Management and Suffolk University for a Masters degree in Finance.

Did you play any sports growing up?
I played baseball from T-ball to Babe Ruth when I played soccer for the first time and fell in love. From freshman year of high school and through college it was soccer year round; outdoor, indoor, organized or not… I was playing.

What do you do for work?
I am currently the Director of Corporate Controlling for Ledvance Sylvania, a German lighting company with US headquarters located in Wilmington MA. I have an amazing team and we are responsible for budgeting, financial reporting, and analysis. Over 8 years I’ve been involved in a spin-off, an IPO, a delegation (lived in Mexico for 9 months), a Carve-Out, and a sale. It’s pretty crazy most days… but I love it.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
A year and a half ago I was 186 lbs, feeling lethargic and really unhappy with how I felt and knew something had to change and fast. Several friends had joined Title Boxing Club and invited me over and over to try it out. I finally did, signed up and never looked back… I was addicted. I’ve also always been a big fight fan and wanted to experience a fight camp and an amateur bout but as I got older I pretty much thought it was not a possibility. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped about this opportunity.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
The challenge and the cause. A four month fight camp, making weight, the daily grind… it tests you mentally and physically and I want to push myself to the limit; to see what I am capable of. I was able to attend the Belles of the Brawl 2017 and was super impressed with the production and the extent to which Haymakers for Hope was able to raise awareness and money to #KOCancer. It’s a special event, it’s very emotional, and you really get a sense for what it’s really about… fighting a terrible disease.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
I’m drawing my inspiration from every picture my cousin shares with me of her daughter sitting on a hospital bed with a huge smile on her face as she waits for her chemo treatment. I dig deep and work through minor aches and pains thinking about how she stays up late to finish her homework because she wants to go to school even though she’s had an awful belly ache or headache for days. I also think about how I felt on May 23rd 2013 when I turned 32 and realized I was older than my dad ever was… passing due to a brain tumor. I committed to living life to the fullest and taking advantage of opportunities like this.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Soda. C’mon… water with pizza just doesn’t cut it. I feel as though I took a huge step in the right direction a year ago when I gave up Mountain Dew and stuck solely to Coke. It’ll be tough. Oh... more specifically rum and coke will be missed as well.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Family is extremely important to me, I try to spend as much time as possible with the Fam. I’m also a big music fan (and like to dance) so any chance I get to go to a live show or bust a move… I’m in! I really am a big fight fan though, if there is a UFC card on a Saturday night or a Showtime boxing bout, I’m watching. Local fights are fun too especially if a friend is stepping into the ring.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Family members, friends, and coworkers have all congratulated me and say “I can’t wait to see you in action”… with a huge smile on their faces. Something tells me that there is a small part of all of them that really want to see that happen! Except for mom, she’ll be in attendance but she won’t be able to watch once that bell rings.

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