Rock ‘N Rumble VII: Matt Kilty
Monday, March 13 2017
During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Rock ‘N Rumble VII in Boston, MA on May 18th. 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 Matt Kilty, fighting out of Firicano Boxing & Fitness Center in Stoneham, MA.
Where are you from?
Stoneham, MA...born, raised, live here now.
Where’d you go to college?
I attended Hofstra 1990-1992 then transferred to Wentworth Institute of Technology and graduated in 1994.
Did you play any sports growing up?
I played Football, Baseball, and Winter Track.
What do you do for work?
I am a co-owner of a national construction company that builds restaurants, retail stores, multi-family residential apartments, corporate and medical office spaces and other super cool spaces.
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
I've always loved boxing as a fan and wanted to be a boxer, but as a kid in Stoneham, there were no options. About 8 years ago Firicano Boxing and Fitness opened in Stoneham. My wife started going and encouraged me to try it. About 4 years ago, I finally decided to quit smoking and get back in shape so I started at Firicano. Michael and Brian were there every step of the way to help me reach my goals. Once I began boxing regularly I had the desire for a real fight. I put it on the bucket list so to speak, not thinking it would ever actually happen. As a Master (I'm 45), Michael cautioned me that even fighting in a smoker might not be a good idea, as I'd likely end up fighting someone who has had 100's of career fights. So I had resigned myself to thinking the closest I'd come would be sparring in Firicano's Fight Camp. Then I heard about Haymakers and figured this was my last chance.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
When I looked into Haymakers and what it was about, I realized it wasn't about me anymore. The cause was way more important than my silly bucket list.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
My family lost my Dad in 1998 at 59 years old, just before my wedding and then we lost my sister four years ago at age 50. My Dad had stage IV non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He never had a chance but for the sake of those that might fight this disease in the future, he voluntarily subjected himself to what were at the time, state of the art but still experimental treatments at MGH. We lost him on March 16, 1998. He was in the Ellison Building on the 11th floor and we watched him pass while saying my grandmothers favorite prayer, a Hail Mary. My sister's bout with cancer was deceivingly fast. She went to the hospital believing she was suffering from a stroke. Turns out it started as Lung Cancer but it had metastasized to her brain and eventually reached her spinal fluid. We lost her Feb 1, 2014. When you ask someone about cancer, everyone has a loved one that, win or lose, has suffered from this horrible disease. The names are coming at me from everywhere and I'm fighting for them all.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Probably pasta. I gave up all alcohol plus all my favorite foods and then started a clean diet with a sports nutritionist. But most of all, I'll miss weekly pasta night with macaroni and sauce.
When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I love hiking. And I love BBQ and cooking too but we're putting that on hold until after the fight.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Nobody, they all want to see me win. But I guess if I had to choose someone, it would probably be my business partners, they probably want to punch me in the face from time to time. If not them then definitely my wife followed by my kids.