Haymakers for Hope Fights Cancer

Literally. The group hosts boxing matches to raise money for cancer research and treatment.

Haymakers for Hope

A Haymakers for Hope fight. Photo via Facebook

Walk-a-thons and spin-a-thons may be the way to exercise for charity, but Haymakers for Hope is going a little more extreme. The group sponsors charity boxing matches, all with the goal of curing cancer. On Thursday, they’ll come to Boston’s House of Blues for an event that allows amateur boxers (like Boston contributor Steve Annear) to train with professionals at boxing gyms and then compete in a fight that, as their website puts it, will “knockout cancer the only way we know how, by literally fighting for a cure.”

Founded by Julie Anne Kelly and Andrew Myerson, two boxers originally from Boston, Haymakers for Hope has raised more than $1 million for cancer research and treatment since its first fight at the Park Plaza Hotel in 2011. Money is raised through a combination of people pledging for the boxers, buying tickets to the events, and donating directly to the cause. Myerson says the duo’s goal for Haymakers is, of course, focused on fundraising for and working toward curing cancer, but that it doesn’t stop there. “I view it that we have a direct and an indirect benefit. Obviously the classic direct benefit is how much money we’re raising for the cause, and I think it’s limitless for how much we can potentially raise,” he says. “But I also think the indirect benefit is that the people who are going through the program are getting a real once-in-a-lifetime experience where they get to train like and perform like a real professional fighter.”

So why boxing? Aside from Myerson and Kelly’s background in the sport, Myerson says it’s about the training timeline. “We thought, ‘If we’re going to be training for three or four months for this, why can’t we see if we can raise money for [cancer]?,'” he says.

Plus, the event makes them unique. “Everyone runs marathons,” he says, “and we wanted to be different.”

If you’re interested in getting involved, it’s not too late to donate or buy tickets. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m. at the House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston. Tickets start at $75.