And out of the red corner… JOANNE BECK! The inaugural Liberty Bell Brawl is just three weeks away! We interviewed some of our hard-working, ass-kicking, do-gooders on their experience training with us! The interviews were split into three rounds: an introduction, a journey to the belt, and the people in their corner. Joanne Beck, originally from New Jersey, now residing in Philly not only is working tirelessly to balance training into her personal life but also took the time to answer some of our punching questions. 



Haymakers: Where are you from?

Joanne: Roxbury, NJ

Haymakers: Did you play any sports growing up?

Joanne: I was a dancer and competitive cheerleader.

Haymakers: What do you do for work?

Joanne: I am a communications and engagement professional working in the Technology space of Cigna.

Haymakers: Any special hobbies, talents, or volunteer work you’re currently involved in?

Joanne: I am very big on giving back - I worked in the nonprofit sector for 8 years. I give to a few charities, but my favorites are any that support animal welfare. I love all animals and enjoy spending a lot of time with my two dogs, a black lab named Daisy and a Golden Retriever named Charlie. I also love spending time with my daughter, Liana, who is a year and a half, and my husband Chris. We love to do things outdoors as a family of 5. I also enjoy exercising, traveling to new cities both stateside and internationally, watching football, spending time at the beach, and exploring new towns.

Haymakers: How did you hear about Haymakers for Hope? Have you been to an event before?

Joanne: Reid Eichelberger! I have never been to a Haymakers event.


ROUND TWO: THE JOURNEY TO THE BELT                                                                      

[Tell us about your boxing experience so far! Knock out every detail!]   

Haymakers: What was your experience with boxing before Haymakers?                 

Joanne: I had always been interested in boxing since childhood because of my amateur experience with boxing. And as I got older, I wanted to be able to mimic what my dad did. I boxed recreationally at local gyms since around 2018. I used to love trying new boxing gyms around the city like Title or Joltin’ Jabs, to name a few. But I really began to fall in love with the sport when EverybodyFights (Philadelphia) opened in 2019. My husband was an instructor there and it truly was the best experience being a member at that gym. It’s still the best gym I’ve ever gone to. I miss it so much!! When COVID hit, I continued to box at home, but not nearly as frequently. It was a lot of bag work and drills.

Haymakers: How has your knowledge, (and/or) love for boxing grown?

Joanne: My coach is quite literally a wealth of knowledge when it comes to combat sports, so I feel like I’ve learned a ton in just a few short months of training. But I didn’t think my love for this sport could grow to the depths that it has. When I box, I feel like I'm doing something that’s natural to me. It mentally takes me to a place where I can just let go of everything going on in my own head and just be present. I’m a full-time employee with a demanding job, raising a toddler and thinking about growing my family. A LOT is asked of me at all times, and I am spread very thin. Boxing gives me the outlet I need to regroup, unwind, and do something for just myself. It has taught me patience, resiliency, and most importantly, to just trust. It’s become such a big part of my life and I’m grateful that I connected to this sport on the level that I did.

Haymakers: What challenges have you faced in or out of the ring while training for Haymakers?

Joanne: Working full time while being a mother to a toddler is hard enough. So of course I thought to myself, how can I make things even more difficult for myself? I’ll sign up to train for a fight when I already have no time! Kidding :) however, there have been MANY challenges because of this that I’ve battled through along the way! I knew when I signed up for Haymakers that it would test and challenge me in ways, I never thought possible, and it did. The hardest part was adjusting to the rigorous training schedule on top of everything else going on in my life. Most days, I’m running my daughter to her babysitter, running home to take a meeting, running to the gym to squeeze in half a workout, running home to finish work and attend more meetings, running to pick my daughter up, running to the city for training (I live in the suburbs), and then coming home to shower and get some rest. There are multiple days where I need to bring my daughter to the gym with me. Sometimes she’s watching her favorite show in her stroller while I train, other times she’s being handed off to my husband just so I can make training, and he brings her home. It’s been so difficult trying to navigate my, hers and his schedules while trying to allow enough time for training, but thankfully my husband and I make an awesome team. So we are handling it together! I also had some work trips, as well as a bout with covid, that took me away from training for several days. Lastly, but definitely important to note, I suffered pretty severely from postpartum depression and anxiety after I had my daughter, and I still am not 100% where I should be today. I am still working on my mental health and finding the resources I need to heal. I have great days and I have days where I struggle horribly. But all these challenges and setbacks have only made me more determined to reach my goal. I never lose sight of why I’m doing this. I lost my dad to cancer at 13 years old. He should be here now watching me go on this journey, watching my daughter grow up, and so much more. So, no matter how grueling my schedule is, no matter how sick I get, and no matter what I may be dealing with personally, giving my absolute best to this process is the least I can do after the fight that my dad gave for his life.

Haymakers: Is there anything about boxing, sparring, or the world of boxing in general that has surprised you?

Joanne: I think just seeing how technical the sport can get was really eye-opening. I always joke with my coach that boxing is one giant hypocrisy, and we laugh - because it’s true! We’ll be talking about something, and he’ll tell our group, you can do this, but not too much. Or you should never do this, but sometimes it’s ok to do. There is rarely a concrete answer in boxing to “how” something should be done, and I don’t think I ever realized that before till I was actually learning the sport.

Haymakers: Tell us about the gym you're training at. Are there any other Haymakers or H4H Alum in the gym training alongside you? How has that helped with your training?

Joanne: I’m unaffiliated but training a lot at 10 Hands Fight Sports. I don’t have any alum training with me, but my team fighting in Haymakers this year who I train alongside has been the greatest support system ever. We have all become close friends through this process and I’m so grateful to have forged these friendships. Each of them is truly the best people, and I’m lucky to have gone on this journey with them. It’s crazy how we went from barely knowing one another to spending most of our time together. You get pretty close pretty fast when that’s the case!

Haymakers: Who is your trainer? What are they like? Give us the rundown on what it’s like training with them…

Joanne: My trainer is Harry Ridall with Undercard Combatics. Harry is the GOAT (greatest of all time). I could honestly just leave it at that, but I won’t. Training with Harry has been awesome. Definitely very challenging because he pushes us out of our comfort zones all the time, but that’s what each of us needs. It’s been the best thing for us. And he does it because he knows what each of us is capable of and he won’t stop until he sees it come out. Harry is also a very holistic coach, which I appreciate so much. He coaches us on the mental aspect of the sport just as much as the physical. Both play a critical role in his training plans for us and it’s made me realize just how important the two are and how they work together. You may have the technical training under your belt, but if you don’t have the mental, your entire game plan will fall apart. I just feel very fortunate to have been coached by him throughout this process and I know our team is in the best hands!


ROUND THREE: THE PEOPLE IN YOUR CORNER                                                          

[Chat about your connection to the cause, the fundraising aspect, and all the external support along the way!]

Haymakers: The reason we do all of this is to fundraise for cancer. What or who are you fighting for? Tell us about the person (people) in your life who is inspiring you to lace up the gloves?

Joanne: First and foremost, my dad, Joseph Salsano, who was a golden glove winner as a teenager and loved boxing to his core. He was diagnosed with cancer twice in my life, once when I was 5 and again, after a liver transplant l, when I was 12. He passed away when I was 13, but his fighting spirit lives on in every aspect of mine and my mother’s life. I am also fighting for my grandmother, Ann Jordan who passed away of colon cancer in 2021 just 3 weeks after she met my daughter who had just been born. I’m still so grateful that she got to meet her because she was an incredibly important person in my life. And I’m fighting for one of my best friend's father, Gary Kleinman, who passed away of pancreatic cancer in 2017. Gary always treated me like family and set the best example of what a father and husband should be. I’m grateful to have known him.

Haymakers: Are you fighting for a certain organization? Tell us a little about them, and why you chose to put your fundraising efforts towards them.

Joanne: No, just cancer research.

Haymakers: Aside from monetary donations, what has the support looked like? Have there been any surprising moments or interactions with people in your life as they’ve learned more about what and why you’re doing this?

Joanne: People have been really supportive. Surprised that I’m doing this, but supportive. I’ve had a lot of people from my childhood who knew me when my dad passed reach out and tell me how awesome it is that this organization exists and that he would be proud of me for doing this. I know they’re right - he would be proud. And would definitely be trying to come to my training sessions! My friends and family have constantly checked in to make sure I’m 1. Still alive and 2. Still focused on training. They’ve been in my corner since day 1 and I can’t thank them enough for always checking in, giving me a sanity check, and believing in me. Especially my husband, Chris, and my mom, Maryann, who have definitely gotten an earful more than once when I’m stressed or nervous or overwhelmed with the process, they’ve kept me grounded and always kept the “why” in front of me, and I’m grateful for that.

Raise your hand, thank you Joanne! As she continues to train hard and fight for loved ones, we will leave you with a quote from her boxer bio:as I grew from a teenager to an adult, and now into a parent, I realize what my dad taught me in those 13 short years I had with him. He taught me courage. He taught me strength. And he taught me how to fight.”

Feeling inspired by boxers like Joanne Beck?
Check out her fundraising page, social media handles, or read more about ass-kicking do-gooders on our blog! 

Better yet come show your support for Joanne and the other boxers at 
The Liberty Bell Brawl
at The Fillmore Philadelphia on April 27th,
Doors Open at 6:30pm, First Fight at 7:30pm