Harney enters the ring to fund cancer research


Courtesy photo/Cassandra Sanchez

Photography teacher Emily Harney gets ready to box at the Haymakers for Hope event

EMILY PALK, Staff Writer

GHS photography teacher, and long time boxing photographer, Emily Harney  stepped into the ring for the first time,  alongside 32 other women in the Haymakers For Hope event at the House of Blues in Boston, on Wednesday night.

“I wanted to see how it felt to be punched in the face, and to punch someone in the face,” said Harney.

Haymakers For Hope is an ages 21 and up event. The goal of the Haymakers event was to raise money for cancer research. Harney has set a personal goal to raise $5,000. She exceeded her goal and raised $6260.00

“I’m inspired by those who have fought cancer, and those who have fought and lost their battle [to] cancer, specifically my grandmother,” said Harney. “She was a school teacher, so she was always an inspiration for me. Also children who have fought cancer; I’ve had a lot of friends whose kids have fought cancer and it’s really strange to see an abundance of kids fighting it.”

Harney predicts that her boxing debut will teach her some new skills for photographing these matches.

“I understand the movement of a fighter a lot better,” said Harney, “I can predict a little bit more what they might do. There are certain things that I can watch for that I didn’t get before, that I now understand.”

Only 32 women were selected of the 200 that applied. Harney has been training at Tomasello’s Boxing Gym, in Saugus.

“I have been training since June, doing road work which means running 6 to 7 days a week, 2-3 miles a day,” said Harney. “In the boxing gym anywhere from an hour to two hours Monday through Saturday.”

The event followed standard USA Boxing rules, and consisted of three 2-minute rounds. 

Though she didn’t win, Harney says she is proud of the work she and her opponent have done.

“I feel awesome,” said Harney.  “It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. We didn’t get the win, but it didn’t matter. I gave this girl a good fight, she gave me a good fight. I couldn’t believe fighting someone could be so fun. I raised over six grand for my charities so it was a win-win no matter what.”

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