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 September 19th, 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. Annie Dragolich has been putting in work at Downtown Boxing Club and below you’ll hear about her first time sparring and more about his experience with Haymakers thus far.

We’re halfway to fight night, how is your training coming along?
It’s great! Having never boxed before, the last 2 months have been a whirlwind trying to learn everything I can about the sport, but it’s been cool to see the progress I’ve made in a short time.

What is your weekly routine?
5-6 days a week I do training sessions which consist of a mix bag work, mitt work and lots of jumping rope, core work and pushups. In addition, I try to spar at least one day a week.

How has your diet changed since training began?
I’ve maintained a pretty healthy diet since getting cancer, but have definitely become more disciplined since training. No sugar, little to no alcohol and a lot of protein!

Tell us about your first-time sparring, different than expected?
I took a couple strong right hooks to the head that I wasn’t expecting!

What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far?
I love the training but it requires a lot of discipline and often means having to miss out on other things. I usually travel a lot more, especially in the summer but have cut back almost entirely to ensure I can stick to my training regimen.

What does your family think of your participation?
They have been really supportive and are excited about fight night!

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?
Since starting this journey, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me to share their own stories. I’m continuously surprised by the number of people that are affected by cancer each & every day. Also — very surprised to hear that Chris Tipler has a baby due one week before fight night!

Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of your training?
Not at all, if anything it’s only further reinforced my “why.” I started this journey because I survived cancer and am lucky enough to be able to get in the ring. There are so many others who won’t ever get that opportunity and I feel motivated to fight for them.

Donate to Annie or purchase a ticket to The Beltway Brawl on September 19th here!