Charitable Choices: Paul Agapito and the Fight to End Cancer

The Fight to End Cancer’s Annual Gala and Fight Night is quickly approaching. On June 1st at the Old Mill in Toronto, several locals who have been training and fundraising for months will face off in a boxing ring as a finale of their journey.

Paul “Centurion” Agapito was born in Etobicoke and stands 6’3 with a weight of 225 lbs. He is one of 10 fighters, 4 women and 6 men, to take up boxing and fight at the annual event.

I was born, raised and live in Etobicoke.

Why did I pick “Centurion” as my fighter nickname? Of course I wanted a name that would strike fear into the heart of my opponent…Ok, not really…. But great if it does. What I was looking for is a name that I could build a theatrical presence around for my photos, videos and eventually my walk out to the ring on fight night.

It is true, the imagery the night of is a big part of it. The show is well produced and the walkouts are always a lot of fun with dancers, music and costumes. I am excited to see this one myself.

We chatted with Paul to learn more about his involvement.

Paul Agapito
Paul Agapito

Describe the charity/non-profit you are fighting for in a few sentences.

I am participating as a member of the Fight Team in the 8th annual Fight To End Cancer (#FTEC2019) in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. As a fighter in this event, I am training for my first sanctioned boxing match as well as raising awareness and research dollars with a vision of reaching a goal we all share – To Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime!

Taking place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Toronto’s historic Old Mill Inn, this black tie gala commences with an elegant gourmet dinner before leading into a full evening of Las Vegas-style entertainment. Guests will be treated to first-class performances, paired with the night’s main event – a series of Olympic-style boxing bouts featuring local business leaders and influencers.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Each year the Fight To End Cancer takes a group of 10 men and women with no prior boxing experience and runs them through 6 months of high-intensity training developing both boxing skills and the required conditioning with the goal of participating in a sanctioned Olympic-style boxing match in front of a crowd of hundreds of supporters. Along the way, in addition to the training, we also raise awareness about the cause, raise funds for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and have experiences similar to pro-fighters….photoshoots, videos, interviews, social media…

When did you start/join it?

I started going to boxing conditioning classes in December 2017 as a way to stay physically active. I really enjoyed the conditioning classes and through my involvement in Kingsway Boxing became ware of the Fight To End Cancer. I thought it was a great cause that I wanted to be part of. I was selected to be a member of the FTEC2019 fight team in November, 2018 with our team training ramped up in December.

What made you want to get involved?

Like all of us, I have far too many people in my life that have been impacted by cancer. The Fight To End Cancer give me a chance to help change the lives of others affected by this disease something I have really wanted. Plus, after a year of doing the conditioning classes the idea of increasing the intensity of my training was appealing.

Paul Agapito

What was it like for you when you first started?

When we first started the team training sessions I thought I was going to have an advantage since I had already been doing the conditioning classes. But the team sessions proved to be both exhausting and rewarding. Classes are both physically and mentally taxing. Learning solid boxing fundamentals and conditioning at least 3 times per week with most sessions lasting up to 3 hours.

It can be tough but I try to remind myself that as hard as it might be in that moment it’s nothing compared to what those fighting cancer are going through. We get breaks during training which isn’t the case for those fighting cancer.

And the rewarding part is knowing that the hard work is for a great cause, helping to raise funds for cancer research.

How has it changed you since?

Beyond the physical changes from the training the experience has really shown me that most people really do care and want to support us. I guess it has reminded me that it’s important to find a way to be good to each other, care for one another and enjoy life every single day. Don’t put things off. Cancer doesn’t wait for a better or more convenient time.

What is the next step for you?

Right now, my focus really is on my training and conditioning and trying to make improvements in both every day. My immediate goal is to reach my fundraising target before fight night and then of course to win my fight on Saturday June 1, 2019. Ultimately, my goal is to contribute towards cancer’s defeat.

How can our readers help?

Readers can help me reach my first goal by donating to the cause at www.fighttoendcancer.com and clicking on my profile – Paul Agapito.

Or by scanning the QR code below which will take you directly to my page for a donation.

Donations of $15.00 CAD or greater will automatically receive an electronic tax receipt

Do you have any events coming up?

Fight to End Cancer Gala on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Toronto’s historic Old Mill Inn.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram = @iagapito1

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1566 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography