During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Rumble IX in Boston on May 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 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 Vanessa (Razney) Baca, fighting out of Haverhill Downtown Boxing.

Where are you from?
Peabody, MA

Where’d you go to college?
Bentley University

Did you play any sports growing up?
Sure did! I played basketball, field hockey, and softball.

What do you do for work?
Media Manager

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I initially got into boxing for the workout - it's the best and hardest workout ever. After playing basketball growing up and realizing I wasn't going to the WNBA after college, I wanted to try something new and boxing was it.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
To raise awareness of the importance of early detection and preventative care.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
Why am I fighting? For my mom. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and took the immediate step of getting surgery. The day after her surgery, she went to go see my youngest brother off to his senior prom – she wasn’t going to miss it! Today, she is cancer free and still the strongest person I know. I'm also fighting for everyone else who is affected by this horrible disease.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Going to my husband and I's favorite Mexican restaurant - Howling Wolf in Salem, MA.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I like to hang out with my family, hike in NH, and listen to podcasts.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
My dad - my biggest fan! He's so excited and already telling me to throw and uppercut. My mom is not too thrilled to watch her little girl get in the ring! :)

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