Boxer in Training: Matt Grendal
Tuesday, April 4 2017
You’ve heard who they are and why they’re fighting. But now that we’re over the halfway mark until the big night on May 18th, things have started to pick up a bit. Training is getting more intense. They’ve been punched in the face. Most have had a bloody nose here or there, their diets have changed, and boxing is becoming an everyday part of their lives. So we figured it was about time to check back in and see how things have been going. Matt Grendal has been putting in work at Elite Boxing & Fitness and below you’ll hear about his first time sparring and more about his experience with Haymakers thus far.
We're halfway to fight night, how is your training coming along?
I think my training has been going well. Starting brand new on day one to now I have noticed a significant change for the better. I have tried to absorb everything my trainers have told me to do even though my performance doesn't always reflect it.
What is your weekly routine?
I do not have a set weekly routine because it varies week to week. However, the constants are cardio, lifting, boxing drills, 1 on 1 sessions and sparring. I think the big difference in my routine compared to other fighters is I play 5-6 hours every night of "Mike Tyson's Punchout" on Nintendo. Like Ric Flair always said, "To be the man you gotta beat the man." That starts with beating video game versions of Mike Tyson.
How has your diet changed since training began?
I was a steady diet of Taco Bell until recently when Julie tried to sabotage my summer bod/abs by telling me to stop cutting weight. After that conversation, I started to mix up by diet by adding Ben and Jerry's ice cream who happened to recently release new flavors/limited batches. Like Bodhi in "Point Break" (the original movie, not that garbage sequel) I'm not missing that "50-Year Storm." Joke's on Julie though! Even with these changes my summer bod/abs are still on point so I really might have to change my diet to stop dropping weight & gain some. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Tell us about your first time sparring, different than expected?
haha just a little bit! I thought I would be sparring against someone around my skill level or a little bit better. Boy, was I wrong! I'm pretty sure this guy was sculpted by the gods. He was a massive human with his speed and strength that you very rarely see unless it's at a professional level. After we sparred, I learned he was studying neurology so he saved me a trip to the hospital by not diagnosing me with a concussion. That was an added bonus to the hard lesson he taught me.
What has been the most challenging part of sticking to the routine and training so far?
At the orientation, the H4H team & previous fighters kept on stressing the good and bad days which didn't register with me. I played sports my entire life so if I had a bad day I'd be pissed but I would let it go after a few minutes. Boxing is completely different & they were right. One day you had a great 1x1 session or spar session then the next day you get pummelled to an all time low. The wave of emotions in this sport are crazy! Trying to manage all the emotions and mental aspect has been the most challenging without a doubt!
What does your family think of your participation?
Does verbal abuse from my father & brothers count as supportive? I'm kidding......sort of. It's for a great cause so they are happy I'm doing something positive and making an impact. I've appreciated them throughout this process since they have been helping with the fundraising & one of my brothers even joined the gym, Elite Boxing & Fitness. He's only a few months into it but he's already the greatest boxer in the world, just ask him.
It's amazing how many people's lives have been touched by cancer in some way - has there been anyone that has surprised you by their story?
Every story about cancer is unique. One day you hear about someone kicking cancer's ass then the following you hear how hard someone fought but couldn't get past it. It's a wave of emotions with this disease & why I'm glad I'm part of this great organization raising money to #KOCANCER.
Has your initial inspiration changed since the start of training?
No, my loved ones are still my inspiration but knowing everyone else has their own unique inspirations is a pretty amazing feeling. Where else in the world do you have a group of people from all different backgrounds willing to battle each other to beat cancer? Win or lose, we are making an impact!
Donate to Matt's page or purchase a ticket to Rock 'N Rumble VII on May 18th here!