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Meet Jeff ‘The Mimico Mauler’ Skrypek, a man with a plan.

Fight To End Cancer #FTEC2023 Fighter, Jeff Skrypek [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]

Jeff Skrypek has a plan for the charity fight night. Lights turned low, he’ll enter the ring to the blast of Rammstein’s heavy metal ‘Du Hast,’ a song beloved by his father, John Skrypek, an engineer, dad-coach, dirt-biker, sailor and guitarist who died in 2012 at the age of 54, from brain cancer.

The elder Skrypek raised his son in a house of rock. It was dominated by Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones but when the boxing coaches told Jeff to pick a walk-on song for his bout in the Fight to End Cancer, Du Hast’s galvanizing, gothic guitar riffs proved irresistible.

“It’s pretty menacing,” he says, with a laugh, “and my dad just loved it. So, it sort of fit all the requirements.”

Jeff’s fascination with boxing began as a child, watching the Rocky movies and when, at the age of 12 he requested a heavy bag for Christmas, his parents obliged.

“I loved all those movies. I loved the drama of it. I loved the cheesiness of Rocky IV. And that kind of sold me that boxing was a sport I would like forever.”

~ Jeff Skrypek, FTEC2023 Fighter

Over the years, he trained on and off with a professional boxer friend Nick Fantauzzi and later, at the Kingsway Boxing Club, always imagining that one day he’d fulfil the dream of a real in-the-ring fight. Except life got busy. His wife had a baby. He took time off from the gym.

That idea became a long-term plan and last fall, at the age of 36, Jeff told his wife that he’d like to have one (and only one) amateur fight but not until he was 40, old enough to compete in the masters division. It seemed far away. She agreed.

A month later, Jeff saw Jennifer Huggins’ Facebook post seeking a boxer for the team that would compete in the 2023 FTEC fundraiser for Princess Margaret Hospital, the first event since 2020 when it was cancelled by the pandemic.

The post said: “We are currently seeking our final spot: Male, 30 – 45 years of age, 175 – 190lbs. (Toronto area.)” Jeff was the right age. The right height. Weight. And he lived in Mimico, a ten-minute drive from the Jutland Rd. club.

“When I saw the post, I was like, this is too perfect. I’ve already kind of mentally prepped my wife that it’s something I’m interested in. And now this comes up. Not only that, but it’s also connected to the Princess Margaret Hospital and raising money for cancer as a charity. So, it’s become more than just about me.” He messaged Jennifer. “I told her I was interested, and I also told her that my dad had passed away from brain cancer. Pretty quick. It took about six months from diagnosis to passing.”

Photos: Jeff with his family

He pauses for a moment.

“I told her it is a very important cause to me personally. My uncle passed away from cancer during COVID. And my grandmother passed away from cancer. It has affected our family quite a bit. And it turns out the actual event is on May 27th, which is my dad’s birthday. So that’s how it all came together.”

An elementary teacher, Jeff’s alter ego is now the “Mimico Mauler.” His grade-six students responded to this development with enthusiasm, although he may not tell them about the “trash-talking” lines he’s perfected for his opponent, even if they are pretty wholesome.

The training itself has been a bit of a journey. The 2023 charity fighters are an experienced crew, so they started by sparring with KBC’s competitive youth team who, as Jeff says, are young and hungry.

Photos: Jeff training in Fight To End Cancer 2023
[Photo Credit: Virgil Barrow]

“The first time you’re standing face to face with someone, taking the shot on your gloves and not allowed to move, the biggest thing you learn is to increase your comfort level. To become in control of your emotions. Later, you’re like, ‘I’m fine. This is going to be fine. I can do this.

He’s not sure how his dad would have reacted to the fight. Boxing, Jeff says, was not one of his father’s go-to sports but he loved a good adventure.

On the final Saturday in May, what would have been John Skrypek’s 66th birthday, Jeff will walk into the ring accompanied by the blazing rock anthem that played a decade earlier, at his dad’s celebration of life.

The FTEC2023 Fight Team  stands united to Fight The Fight That Affects Us All! With the goal of reaching $3 million in 2023, 100% of all KO Cancer Bootcamp proceeds go to research at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.


Public Relations Team, Fight To End Cancer

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Help the #FTEC2023 Fight Team reach their goal of $3 million dollars before Fight Night! Use the link below to get to know the individual team members better and support them in their Fight To End Cancer! Defeat Is NOT An Option

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About The Fight To End Cancer

The Fight To End Cancer (FTEC) is a year-round initiative carried out by ambassadors, sponsors and volunteers worldwide.  Over $2,000,000 has been donated to date, since our inaugural year, in 2012.  Funds raised by FTEC are donated directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  Each year we celebrate the incredible hard work and dedication of our FTEC family with a black-tie charity boxing gala.  This gala showcases ten men and women who represent our Official Fight Team.  Our goal is to raise funds for cancer research year-round with the support of the local community and business owners.  Let’s make a difference now in the fight to end cancer, for a long and successful future for everyone.  This is an event like no other and has quickly become one of the most anticipated events in Toronto.

About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for breakthrough research, exemplary teaching and compassionate care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which now includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Breast Cancer Research Institute. More information about the Foundation can be found at