Thursday, June 6 2019
If boxing’s the loneliest sport, you’d think the lone Haymakers for Hope fighter at a gym might feel uncharted depths of solitude. Not if you’re Rumble in the Rockies boxer Kevin Rosser. In the lead up to his first fight, he’s found a supportive network of friends, family, and Haymakers alumni across the country.
“I’m in a unique situation as the only Haymakers fighter at my gym for this year,” Kevin says. “But I wouldn’t change it, I’m so happy with the gym I ended up choosing. House of Pain is a smaller mom and pop place. We have the old, gritty, grungy bags, and people work so hard there. I’ve been alone in terms of Haymakers for Hope, but the gym has such an incredible community. My coach runs classes twice a day for at-risk youth. This gym represents so much and it has really kept me motivated, to be able to see the impact boxing can make.”
Training without fellow Haymakers fighters hasn’t kept him from tapping to the alumni network, though. He spars with one of last year’s Denver boxers, and on a recent vacation to New York City, Kevin trained for a week at Mendez Boxing Gym. Former Haymakers alumni were quick to jump in the ring with Kevin. “I was so grateful they were so willing to train with me on a day’s notice, and they were so happy to help. That team mentality is something I’m excited to continue to support through Haymakers.” Kevin’s made a good head start as an engaged H4H alumnus; he’s already spreading the word about next year’s Denver signups and convinced a friend to join the inaugural Beltway Brawl later this year in Washington, DC.
Still, Kevin says this array of coaches and sparring partners aren’t his most important training support system: that’s his team at home. Kevin, his wife Rachel, and their toddler son Gareth welcomed a new baby to the family… right in the middle of training.
“We just had our second son Kameron. He was born March 11, just one month after my Haymakers orientation. Signing up, knowing I had a newborn on the way was a big task, and I had to modify training based on responsibilities that come with being a new parent, and it was a lot to ask of my wife while I was out training. I have such a great partner and she’s been a huge reason why I’ve been able to get fit and drop weight.” Rachel’s been a one-woman chef-slash-alarm-clock-slash-cheerleader, and the entire Rosser family’s work has paid off; with just a month to go until fight night, Kevin hit his fundraising goal.
When he first signed up, Kevin’s biggest concern was the fundraising. “I’ve done marathons in the past, and I know it’s so hard to get people to donate. However, you find out quickly that fighting cancer is something that unites everyone. When people find out what the Haymakers money goes to, they think of their loved ones. I’ve been blown away by the generosity and support I’ve received from family and near and distant friends.”
One of Kevin’s most memorable donations came from a friend from a former fellow serviceman. “He commented ‘This impacts everyone,’ and it was just unexpected and some really great motivation to keep spreading the word for more donations.” The donations have pushed Kevin’s training in a way he didn’t expect, too. “My donors keep commenting with the names of their loved ones they’ve lost that they want me to fight for. I feel like I’ve added to my list of people I’ll be focusing on when I get in the ring on June 6.”
The first name on that list? Kevin’s Uncle Steve who lost his battle with cancer two years ago. “It was really private, I only found out he was sick a month before he died. With Haymakers for Hope, I saw a parallel between someone battling cancer, feeling alone, one-on-one, just you versus. cancer. Once I made that connection that it was just like a boxing fight, I knew I had to sign up. I love being able to honor my loved ones who have died, and to look at the people in my life currently fighting and say ‘You have people in your corner, I’m in your corner.’”
To join the crowded corner on Team Kevin, donate in his final 24 hours of fundraising.