During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Hope NYC in NYC on November 15th. 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 Gabriela Ponce, fighting out of Mendez Boxing in New York City.

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Quito Ecuador

Where did you go to college?
Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD

Did you play any sports growing up?

What do you do for work?
I am a photo retoucher.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I guess I have always been a fighter in some sense of the word. Growing up in a culture of male dominance, patriarchy and gender stereotypes of what girls and women "should be" I had to fight my way to be heard by people around me. Boxing just puts a very literal and practical experience to something I have felt I have been doing since I was a child.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight?
It is a huge personal challenge for me. It's also crazy, and I'm pretty Crazy ;)

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 lost my grandfather and my stepfather to cancer.Both of them WAY too young. I am also drawing a ton of inspiration from people who have to battle something each and every day, and do it. To me, determination is one of the most admirable qualities in a person. Through my training I want my daughter to see her mother be determined. I want myself to push harder than I ever had and I want to honor all those fighters who have worked so hard every single day of their lives.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
Beer and Wine. I will miss my wine.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -  what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I love to run, It keeps me sane.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Definitely NOT My mom.

Be sure to check out her fundraising page and wish him luck! Best of luck, Gabriela!