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. Mike O'Malley has been putting in work at TKO BoxFit 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 is going really well. It’s very intense but the effort is paying off. My trainers, Chris and Ryan from TKO Boxfit are seasoned pros, so I am trusting in the process to prepare for this fight. My main goal is progressing everyday, in some way.

What is your weekly routine? 
Right now it’s about 6 days a week with a few double sessions. We are lucky that TKO Boxfit has paired up with Morin Stength & Conditioning so we get a comprehensive program covering boxing technique as well as strength and cardio. “Work Wednesday’s” are the most intense with double sessions and a bit more... Saturday or Sunday is sparring so it’s great to know you’re getting smacked over the weekend

How has your diet changed since training began?
Massively. In a word. I have focused on nutrition as much as anything else which was a big change from what I was previously doing. I have started meal prepping on the weekends to stay away from temptation. Actually, right now, I am in a death stare competition with a large bag of Swedish fish. In all seriousness, this has been huge in allowing me to achieve a schedule I want and have the right amount of energy for the training. Can’t wait for my egg whites and avocado at lunch!

Tell us about your first time sparring, different than expected?
I just imagined pain and more pain, so yea it was different. Life continued, but it was just a wild experience. It’s just something the average person doesn’t do on a weeekly basis, so to take a swing at another human was nuts. Especially when one of them was in your wedding party lol!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far? 
It’s one thing to get excited for a cool boxing session or training which clearly has benefits. But getting excited for eating healthy and “not drinking so much” has been easily the most challenging. It’s crazy how much food plays a role in your life and how hard it is to eat really healthy. Especially with kids, busy lives and work travel.

What does your family think of your participation?
They are proud of me, but are starting to get worried of how into it I am. Admittedly, not talking about H4H is difficult. Also, though I have tried to use the hours they don’t expect to see me, I have missed them much more. Through it all, they have been my biggest supporters and I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without their added effort. They are amazing.

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 was riding the train to work and talking to the guy next to me. We started discussing Haymakers and he immediately donated $200. He wasn’t able to tell me how his life has been affected, but he clearly had a major connection and was searching for a way to help. I found it amazing that a stranger would donate on a whim, but that’s clearly how far reaching cancer is.

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
Unfortunately, 5 months is a long time and we hear terrible stories everyday of cancer impacting people. I wouldn’t say the overall inspiration has changed but it has certainly been compounded after discussing cancer stories. A few friends have reached out to tell me their story and than just continues to fuel the drive. There is really no lack of inspiration.

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