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. Bobby O’Brien 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?
Slow, yo. Getting my a** kicked. BAD. It's ugly, homey! But I'm trying. Gotta keep plugging away. Keep fighting. Baby steps.

What is your weekly routine? 
Run. Pull-ups. Diet. Group sessions with the TKO crew. Spar. Get punched in the face repeatedly cuz I never keep my hands up. Go home and cry alone. Weigh-in on Monday. Repeat.

How has your diet changed since training began?
I'm about 95% plant-based right now (it's the eggs that keep getting me, dawgz ... and the occasional slice of pizza courtesy of the cheat meal that the lean and mean Mike O'Malley introduced me to!) which is up from about 67% before. Plus, I've been hitting the intermittent fasting hard. Like 20 or so hours/day on the weekends. I rarely eat after 2 PM anymore. I kinda love it.

Tell us about your first time sparring, different than expected?
Way different. In my head, I was Rocky Balboa. Then I sparred with my coach. And he beat me down. I was pathetic. I couldn't do anything right. Couldn't throw a punch. I was exhausted. Got a bloody lip. Got knocked down. I even tripped over my own feet ... twice! I didn't cry til I got home though!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far? 
There are definitely some evening classes that I don't want to go to but the sparring sessions have the hardest for me. Getting fired up to spar regularly has been challenging. I thought I would love the competition and the cerebral aspect of sparring more than I do right now. It's coming though. It's just a slow go.

What does your family think of your participation?
They're silent mainly. I send my sisters my sparring videos and they coach me up and critique me which is fun. They'd be kickass fighters! My mom and dad haven't really spoken much to me about the fight to be completely honest. Maybe if I tell them that this is my final fight and that I'm going to retire from boxing on May 16, 2019 they'll be more enthused?

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?
Yes. Duncan Finigan. I randomly met her in my hometown of Milton. She's a hero. A true fighter. She has Stage IV Breast Cancer and a tumor in her brain. Incredible attitude. So positive. So friendly. What an inspiration! She just keeps plugging away, fighting, working her office job, living her life, loving her kids and being flatout amazing. She loves Julie too (but like who doesn't?! ... she's super tough and a total badass like Julie too)!

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
No. But the more I get beaten down in the ring the more I love Haymakers for Hope. Cray Cray, I know. Makes no sense. I'm just a total weirdo! I loved H4H when I applied but now I like love love LOVE H4H!! I'm honored to fight on May 15. I really gotta work on my boxing skills though.

Donate to Bobby here!