You’ve heard who they are and why they’re fighting. But now that we’re over the halfway mark until the big night on May 15th, things have started to pick up a bit. Training is getting more intense. They’ve been punched in the face. Most have had a bloody nose here or there, their diets have changed, and boxing is becoming an everyday part of their lives. So we figured it was about time to check back in and see how things have been going. Jon Pastor has been putting in work at Nolan Bros Boxing and below you’ll hear about his first time sparring and more about his experience with Haymakers thus far.

We’re halfway to fight night, how is your training coming along?
Training has been pretty surreal so far. It's been fun, grueling, humbling, and outright wild. At the halfway point I feel pretty good but totally recognize I've got a long way to go before May 15!

What is your weekly routine? 
For better or worse I have an intense Type A personality so the routine factor settled in easily and quickly. I'm at Nolan Bros Boxing 4 days a week working on conditioning, technique, sparring, etc. The days not at the boxing gym I'm supplementing at my local gym and hitting the Peloton at home. The rest of the routine is really more with my 15-month-old daughter, work, and life at home that's mixed into the craziness.

How has your diet changed since training began?
You mean by cutting out pizza, booze, and everything else that brings joy in my life? Haha, my diet has been pretty strict since orientation. I enjoy cooking so it has actually been fun figuring out healthier options that aren't boring and miserable to force down. Once you get in the groove things are pretty easy to maintain. It's falling off the wagon that's the problem.

Tell us about your first time sparring, different than expected?
We eased into sparring really well so the transition to having actual punches thrown and landing on my face wasn't a complete shock. I will say things escalate and become quite real pretty quickly after you take those first couple pops! I also was able to get some live sparring in at another gym recently and that was a WILD experience!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far? 
To be honest, the training, diet, and commitment hasn't really been all that bad or tough to stick with. The biggest challenges I've faced has been juggling the life balance in tandem with training and obviously work. I kind of knew that would be the toughest part of this whole thing and it certainly has been.

What does your family think of your participation?
Everyone has been incredibly supportive! It has made the whole journey and experience that much easier. It's pretty refreshing and exciting to see how everyone else has gotten involved.

It’s amazing how many people’s lives have been touched by cancer in some way - has there been anyone that has surprised you by their story?
I don't think I've been surprised necessarily but I will say that it has been very inspiring and eye opening learning about all the other fighter's experience, inspiration, and motivation. Everyone's story is different and it's been really great hearing why each of them also signed up to participate.

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
I don't think so... Primarily, if anything, I'd say it just solidified and strengthened the reasons for why I wanted to get involved in the first place. The changes have been more and more people I'm looping into my "why i fight" as more and more are being affected by cancer on a weekly basis.

Donate to Jon or purchase a ticket to Rock 'N Rumble IX on May 15th here!