Houston-area boxing writer Kelsey McCarson is ready to jump in the ring himself to fight, in an effort to raise money to help 6-year old Corbin Glasscock, of Tyler, win his own fight — against cancer.
The fight is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday at Plex in Stafford (near Houston).
""I'm originally from Chapel Hill, so that's how I became aware of Corbin," McCarson said. "The way it came about was, we were following Jarmell for an article, and we bandied around the idea of sparring. I wanted to show what it's like for a normal person to go through what a boxer goes through, but then I thought ‘Here's a chance through me to help a kid who's going through a much bigger fight than I am.'"
Once he saw the need, he set about meeting it.
"It's really amazing that someone who doesn't even know our family would do so much to help," Kayla Glasscock, Corbin's mother, said. "He's just such a blessing. He contacted us and said ‘Here's what I want to do,' and just took it from there. We're so thankful for the money he's raised already."
The Glasscock family first learned of Corbin's cancer when they went to a doctor to see why his arm hurt. He was diagnosed with bone cancer, and has undergone two out of four rounds of chemotherapy in Dallas.
"I just really want him (McCarson) to know how much we appreciate him and how grateful our family is," Mrs. Glasscock said.
McCarson has spent the last six weeks training just as a professional fighter would to prepare for the match — within limits.
"I'm the project manager for an oil and gas company, so I can't train the way a full-time boxer can," he said. "They'll train twice daily, maybe just once on a Saturday for most. I had my trainer give me what I need to do each week, and I did it when I could. I do what most fighters do. I work out six days a week, for a few hours each day. I do the sprints, I work with the heavy ball, the medicine ball, the bands that you stretch."
Being a boxing writer, McCarson said he came into it with some knowledge of fighting already.
"Yeah, it's been difficult," he said. "I had an idea already what training to be a fighter is like. You see shows like ‘White Collar Brawlers,' and these guys don't know how to throw a punch or hold their feet or anything, so I wasn't like that. Boxers train a lot longer than other people, and they're in constant pain, because they're fighters. It's their job. Everything they do has a function and a purpose. A lot of guys that work out do it to look good or so they can fit their jeans better, but boxers don't care about that stuff."
He said the most difficult part, though, is the regularity.
"It's truly drudgery," he said. "It's really about time management. I might come in at 6 a.m., and it's cold and wet, and I don't want to go out and jog, but I have to. If my buddies want to go to the bar and get a beer, I can't have a beer, or a glass of wine, or a cigar, because I'm in training. We all have our favorite foods at Thanksgiving, but we had a boring, paleo Thanksgiving. But, I've skipped no workout, I've skipped no rep, I've skipped nothing."
The key to enduring the hardship, he says, is remembering the final goal.
"The most important thing for me is that we raise money for Corbin, as far as the fight," McCarson said. "I know I'm going to lose, but I don't want to embarrass myself, of course. I've been training about five weeks, and I'm in the best shape of my life. I can't fail. I can't be lazy one day. I just want to do the best I can to help a kid who's going through a bigger fight than I am."
To donate money for Corbin's treatment, go to www.gofundme.com/teamcorbin.