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Meet Joshua “The First Avenger” Siegal: Marvel Enthusiast, HR Professional, and Fighter!

Fight To End Cancer #FTEC2023 Fighter, Joshua Siegal [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]

You may not immediately see the philosophical connections between Marvel comics, HR management and success in the charity-boxing ring but Josh Siegal can tie those threads together, with gusto.

Fun fact: Captain America’s The First Avenger is Josh’s favourite superhero.

Work fact: Josh is vice-president of people (human resources) at 7shifts, a Canadian restaurant-management software company and up-and-coming tech darling.

“My job is to empower employees to do the most meaningful work of their career and if I can create an environment where they can do that, they win, the company wins, everybody wins.”

Fight fact: Josh decodes the connection between HR, Marvel and boxing with a hellacious prediction. Wait for it.

“For me, when I think about my superpowers, what I bring to the workplace or really any type of engagement, the boxing ring included, number one on that list — is energy. I’m always going to show up. I’m always going to be moving, be active. I’m a huge proponent of the energy transfer between human beings. I think it’s super important in the workplace to inspire and align and galvanize people. I try to bring that energy to the boxing gym, energize my training teammates, getting them fired up and working hard and then, taking that energy for myself and using it in a one-on-one match when I go and defeat my opponent, WHICH IS 100 PERCENT GUARANTEED on May 27.”

Who is his opponent?

“I’m going toe-to-toe with the man known as Joey Woo.”

(Fast Joey will later chuckle at this pronouncement.)

The idea of stepping into the ring as The First Avenger took root years earlier when Josh and his wife Julia (AKA The Iron Fist) discussed fundraising for cancer research with a friend, Mitch Krystantos, who’d already taken a turn in the ring for The Fight To End Cancer.

Josh Training For Fight To End Cancer 2023. [Photo credit: Virgil Barrow]

For Josh, that conversation is crystallized in memory.

“He told me that of everything he’s ever done in his life, the Fight To End Cancer was the most meaningful experience he’s ever been a part of. He couldn’t even put into words what the team meant to him, what the experience meant to him. And he’s like, ‘Josh, at some point in your life, you’ve got to do this.

That was in the before times. Before cancer hit his maternal grandparents, Roz and Marvin Starr.

To Josh, they were iconic; healthy, active grandparents who travelled, socialized, hosted parties, and loved to cook for family.

“And it was like, boom, running into a wall. Things just immediately changed. It was a very fast deterioration for both of them, physically and mentally. It was so hard because I’ve never seen them struggle before. It was these two invincible, seemingly immortal figures facing mortality.

His grandmother passed away first and her husband, lost without her, quickly declined after his cancer diagnosis. He died in 2019.

Photo: Josh With Family

“ I was sad and I was also angry and I wanted to be able to do something. I knew I wasn’t smart enough to go figure out a cure for cancer. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist. But I did know I could go get punched in the face. I could go raise money, I could go raise awareness. And Mitch’s words really came back to me. I emailed Virgil and Jen. It was like, ‘Here’s my story. I desperately want to do this. Tell me what I need to do to get on this team.”

Josh had no formal boxing experience but, he loved martial arts. As a kid, he watched WWF. As a teenager, he wrestled on the high-school team. And in his 20s, Josh studied Shotokan Karate, eventually earning a black belt.

The philosophy he learned through black belt training flowed seamlessly into boxing: the discipline, focus and belief that maintaining a “white-belt mindset,” he says, means “everything in life is a learning opportunity.”

Now, as Josh prepares to, as he says, avenge his grandparents in the ring, he’s deep into the art of boxing, and its mindset that ties together the physical, intellectual and, emotional.

“You have to be 100 per cent in the moment. Absolutely present. It’s almost a form of meditation. It stills the mind and everything else is pushed away. It’s a beautiful experience.”

~ Josh Siegal, FTEC2023 Fighter

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

Donations to our Fight Team can be made at:
Photos available upon request.

Interview Opportunities:
Interview Opportunities are available in studio, on site, and via phone or email with:


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