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 Andrew Neelon, fighting out of Mendez Boxing in New York City.

Where are you from?
Cape Cod, MA

Where did you go to college?
University of Virginia

Did you play any sports growing up?
Ran track and field (400m hurdles was my jam), and did kenpo karate

What do you do for work?
Chief of Staff at Bonobos

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I've done various styles of combat sports growing up (multiple karate styles, muay thai, BJJ) but never boxing - so punching has unsurprisingly always been the weakest aspect of my fighting.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight?
Two things on my bucket list this year are to get more involved with charitable/philanthropic activities and to participate in an amateur bout of some sort (which honestly I didn't think I'd actually end up doing). At the time I had this thought, I thought I'd fight in muay thai. But I've always wanted to learn how to box too, so this checked a lot boxes!

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure – where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
A couple family members have unfortunately suffered from, but thankfully beat, cancer. They've never directly spoken about it, but I know they went through a grueling recovery process. I'm more than happy to get beat up if that means cancer is too!

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
Definitely sleeping in late and happy hours during the week.

When you’re not throwing punches and training - what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Generally exploring NYC with friends - seeing new shows, breweries, museums, etc. There's never a shortage of fun things to do here!

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Definitely my college friends.

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