During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Rumble X in Boston on May 14th. 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 Tom Walton, fighting out of EverybodyFights.

Where are you from?
East Milton, MA

Where’d you go to college?
Wake Forest

Did you play any sports growing up?
I played soccer, basketball and baseball, but never at a very high level. I did crush intramural softball in college though. I even took my college roommate, Tim King, yard one time after I looked off numerous terrible pitches from him. I’m just imagining the look on his face as he reads this, he thinks he threw a few strikes, but the ump didn’t agree. Please still donate TK!

What do you do for work?
I work in the Corporate Development group at Iron Mountain.

Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I’ve always enjoyed watching boxing, but never imagined I’d actually be stepping into the ring. Four years ago I took a bags class at EverybodyFights and thought it was one of the best workouts I had ever done, so I joined the gym. Little did I know that my attempts to stay in mediocre shape would lead to me discovering the Haymakers for Hope organization and all the good that they do, and eventually stepping into the ring myself.

Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
I love going to the gym and getting in a good sweat. So I figured if I could take something that I enjoyed, and turn it into a way to raise money for such a great cause through a great organization, it was an absolute no brainer.

You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
Everyone’s hatred for cancer is personal, it’s a disease that affects everyone whether you’re the one fighting it yourself, fighting with a family member, or watching other people fight. It’s a disease that takes good people from the world far too early. In my family, it took my grandmother (dad’s mom) from us before she got to know her only son’s three boys. We lost her in the ‘80s. Cancer research and treatment has come so, so far since that time, because of the professionals that dedicate their lives to fighting the disease and because of the funds raised to drive research. My hope is that future generations don’t have to talk about people they’ve lost to cancer, and I saw this as a great way to contribute. If all I have to do is get reminded very frequently by my coach how bad I am at boxing and how weak I am, and get punched in the face a whole lot because I can’t seem to figure out if I don’t keep my head back, it gets punched, then I’m all in!

What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Beer, 100%. My ideal Saturday afternoon is posting up a local brewery, playing with as many of the dogs in attendance as I can, and trying all the new beers they have. Having to reduce (unlikely I can completely cut it out) my consumption of those tasty 16 ounce tall boys from Trillium, Vitamin Sea, and Widowmaker is going to prove to be my biggest challenge in training.

When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
During the warmer months, my fiancé and I can usually be found traveling through New England and doing as many outdoor activities as we can. We love to go north and go hiking and camping and to head out to the Cape where my parents live. When we’re on the Cape, we love going out over sand at the national seashore and hitting the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
I’m glad the question isn’t around everyone who is excited. Most excited? I’d have to say one of my long time best friends, Sam. Every time the fight comes up in conversation (and I bring it up a lot, because I’m working out way more than her) she gets this smirk on her face, and I know it’s because she’s dying to see me eat a few punches. She’s actually even hit me in the face herself, and gotten me hit in the face. So there’s a track record there. Oh, and I can’t forget my buddy’s cat, Yenne. While I’ve never sparred a human before, Yenne and I spar every time I visit them in Portland. I think he takes it personally, he always hisses at me during it, he’ll definitely be bummed he can’t sneak his way into the fight and watch me get KO’ed.

Check out his fundraising page and be sure to wish him luck! Best of luck, Tom!