Rock ‘N Rumble VII: Dante Leone
Saturday, April 1 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 Dante Leone, fighting out of Sorabella Training Center in Waltham, MA.
Where are you from?
Born in Boston, MA. Except for a few years in Florida (woof!), I spent most of my life growing up in the suburbs outside of the city. What up, Needham!
Where’d you go to college?
Boston University. You might be seeing a pattern here; it appears that I’ve fallen into what many call, “The Boston Blackhole.” I escaped for a little during a stint at Sydney University in Australia but was pulled right back in.
Did you play any sports growing up?
Like all good kids in Suburbia, I played soccer for many years and then tried my hand at lacrosse. After realizing I wasn’t great at either, I switched to track. …Somehow I don’t think running will do me much good in a 20x20 ft. ring. I also practiced Tae Kwon Do for a few years as a kid; again, not much help here seeing as kicks aren’t allowed.
What do you do for work?
Somewhere in-between corporate finance, FP&A, and corporate strategy is where you’ll find me; it depends on the day of the week. I work for a pretty cool company next to South Station that has been incredibly supportive in this endeavor (more on that later).
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
Not quite. The only fighting that I get into these days is trying to win a battle against a large pizza. In all seriousness though, I’m fiercely competitive, but I’ve never been a fighter. I knew very little about boxing until recently, but I’m always up for a challenge and love finding ways to push myself, both mentally and physically.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
Well, let’s just say that I was made an offer that I couldn’t refuse.
Quick story – a coworker and friend of mine participated in Belles of the Brawl 2016. She trained for a year and a half. Two-a-days, diet, sparring, you name it, and on fight night it paid dividends. A week before the event, a group of coworkers and I participated in a class at The Club (Everybody Fights), which was videotaped as a promotional piece for the company and our fighter. The class was awesome, and so was the video. But, it turns out two videos were made that night. The videographer, a friend of mine, had made a highlight/blooper reel just of me. Lucky me! Everyone had a good laugh, but it got the conversation going, and on fight night I was talking with my CEO about the class and how much I liked it. One thing led to another, and after watching our colleague have her hand raised high for the big “W,” he asked if I would carry the torch for the next fight. Even if libations hadn’t been involved that night I wasn’t going to say no. The opportunity to challenge myself with something new and fight for a great cause was too much to pass up.
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure - where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
While I’m very fortunate to not have had anyone in my immediate family fight cancer, we all know someone that has. A friend of mine lost his mother to cancer just last month and another friend battled cancer twice before the age of 27. Cancer is never more than one degree of separation away and I can find plenty of inspiration from seeing how my family and friends that have been afflicted by it have taken their illnesses head-on and with such dignity.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training? (beer, cheeseburgers, time spent watching TV?)
Super-hoppy beers, pasta, pizza, and lack of portion control. I won’t get on my high-horse and say that I’ve given them up entirely, but I’ve made some pretty serious cutbacks. As much as I hate to admit it, the results have shown, and it’s given me something to think about after all of this is over.
When you’re not throwing punches and training -- what other hobbies/interests do you have?
Travel. Every year I plan at least one big trip to a country that I know nothing about. When I’m here, I love snowboarding in the winter, and when the weather is warm you can usually find me on a motorcycle, freefalling from a plane, or scuba-diving.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
It’s a tie between my brother and my sister. Seeing me get taken down a few pegs by getting rocked in the face is something that they’re both excited for. If you hear someone on fight night yelling, “No Tae Kwon Do!!” that’ll be him (I’m not sure what it means either).