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 David Callies, fighting out of the Sommerville Boxing Club.

Where are you from?
Kissimmee, Florida

Where’d you go to college?
University of Central Florida

Did you play any sports growing up?
I played soccer.

What do you do for work?
Software Engineering at Facebook.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
At Facebook (where I work), our facilities manager was a Golden Gloves winner from Lynn named Alex Falcon. He was extremely excited about boxing, and gave free lessons for anyone who was interested. Alex is a talented and passionate teacher, and it didn't take long at all until I was hooked. I never pictured myself fighting myself though - Alex occasionally mentioned it as a possibility, and my goal was maybe to spar someday.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
Haymakers for Hope just happened to be the perfect confluence of factors. One, everyone has to fight. Two, everyone who is fighting has never fought before. Three, it was for charity, and for something that personally affected me.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
My younger sister was diagnosed with, and was treated for Wilms' Tumor when I was in middle school. This was incredibly tough on my family, and if it wasn't for my mother's health insurance (she works as a visiting nurse), things could have gone poorly. However, it's been over a decade cancer free at this point.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
For me, it's going to be time. I'm a bit of a workaholic, and my gym has hours only from 4pm-8pm, and I'm expecting 2+ hour sessions every weekday. This means I'm going to have to rearrange my schedule a bit. Staying dedicated and breaking away from work is going to be tough.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I'm a big fan of science fiction, on my vacation recently I made it through three new books, and I try and catch every sci fi that ends in theaters. I try and get a physical copy of any book that I've enjoyed enough to recommend.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Definite the guy who got me into this, Alex Falcon. I know he's going to be rooting hard for me, and I'm looking forward to showing off where his first lessons end up getting me!

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