During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Belles of the Brawl VII in Boston on October 9th. 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 Annie Corbett, fighting out of Hard Knocks / UFC Gym.

Where are you from?
Andover, MA!

Where’d you go to college?
Fairfield University - GO STAGS!

Did you play any sports growing up?
I was a year around swimmer from 5 years old through high school.

What do you do for work?
I lead our product and UX research team at DraftKings. If you are a user - reach out to me! always looking for more people to talk to :).

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I started boxing in 2014 in NYC. I began boxing to build self-confidence and manage the anxiety I had been struggling with since high school. Through my years of boxing, I gained strength, confidence, courage, empowerment, and determination. I didn't ever picture myself fighting until a few years ago, when I started training with my boyfriend Rob at C1 MMA in Brooklyn and started really focusing on technique over cardio boxing. Since then it has always been a long term goal of mine to step in the ring, specifically for Haymakers.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
I've always wanted to fight, but have been afraid - of getting in the ring, getting hit, and going through the grueling training process. Haymakers was the perfect opportunity, an opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do, but have been a afraid to act on, and an opportunity to fight for something I believe in and has impacted me so closely.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
I draw my inspiration from my mom, and from every other person that is currently or has battled cancer. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and thankfully, has been in remission for over 7 years. I fight to celebrate her and honor her battle and for my family and all of the families that have been affected by this disease.

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
First and foremost, I'll struggle with the lack of downtime that I typically use to play with our rescue pup Bullet and rescue kitten Yoda. Red wine + Annie's Mac & Cheese will be a close second!

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Our rescue pets Bullet & Yoda are my biggest hobby, and I wish we could spend every moment with them (we are trying to leash train the cat, but it's not going very well). When I'm not with them, I'm baking, drinking red wine, watching horrible TV like the Bachelor, and spending time outdoors with friends and family!

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Definitely NOT my family, my mom will probably sit with her hands over her eyes for the entire fight. I'd have to say my boyfriend, not because he wants to watch me get punched in the face (I think...), but because he's an amateur MMA + Muay Thai fighter and is incredibly excited and proud of me for doing this.

Check out her fundraising page and be sure to wish her luck! Best of luck, Annie!