Skip to main content

Meet Julia ‘Immortal Iron Fist’ Siegal, the one to really throw a punch!

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

It all began many years ago, in Julia’s grandmother’s garage.While Julia Siegal and her sisters cleaned, her stepfather discovered his old boxing gear from back in the day (well, the 1990s) when he competed in the ring and forgetting the task at hand, the three girls began taking fun-shots at dad.

I think it dawned on him that this would be great for all of us,” says Julia. “So, whenever we were together, we’d do drills. My stepdad and I worked out a lot together and punching always came into the mix.

In many ways, those workouts were a primer for the years to come. They taught her to feel strong and as Julia says, “to not have to depend on somebody else to protect me.” She also learned that no matter what flourishes a fighter may use in the ring, the real work happens behind the scenes. Prescient wisdom, no doubt, for her role in the Fight to End Cancer.

It’s fair to say that FTEC training under Jennifer Huggins and Virgil Barrow requires a certain fortitude and like others on the team, this is Julia’s second round, returning (with her husband Josh) after the 2020 season was cancelled by COVID.

They were always going to see it through, Julia says, because of the purpose behind the fight, to raise money for cancer research.

Photos of Julia and her family and friends

“I have been tremendously lucky in not having any family with cancer so when Josh’s grandparents had cancer, it shook me to my core. Obviously everyone has heard of cancer, but not everyone has seen it and I had never seen cancer before. I had never experienced how it ate away at somebody. They just so slowly deteriorate. You see the light dim in them, where they are just not fully themselves, and then everything else shuts down. They get smaller, weaker. I saw the impact that had on Josh’s family.

In many ways, she says, that experience is Josh’s story, but it led to a husband-and-wife mission to raise money for research through another shared interest, boxing. And, their mutual appreciation for Marvel Comics superheroes inspired Julia’s fighting name: “The Iron Fist.”

According to Marvel lore, the Iron Fist was a master of the martial arts who possessed a superpower that enabled him to command his chi, his life force, intensifying his reflexes, speed and stamina. All of which are good qualities to possesses when entering the ring.

“The character is fantastic and interesting and carves his own path, which I’ve always loved”

Instead of following family traditions, the Iron Fist went to a mystical land where he finds his power, a concept that appealed since Julia chose a northern Ontario university, Thunder Bay’s Lakehead, to study political science. She now works as an internal communications specialist at FreshBooks, an accounting software platform.

“He (The Iron Fist) eventually comes back and defends the city, and even though I don’t do that, I do like to think of defending people and families against cancer”

~ Julia Siegal, FTEC2023 Fighter

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

When Julia envisions her May 27 walk toward the ring, she thinks of that Marvel-hero energy and the advice from a book called, ‘So You Want to Be a Fighter’, a Christmas present that quotes the mantra of successful boxers: always step inside the ropes with the mentality of a winner.

The upcoming fight is a constant presence, determining whether she’ll have a drink with friends the night before a training session (she won’t) along with decisions that lead to better sleep and nutrition.

“Even something as small as slipping on my stairs, because I don’t want to break my ankle,” she says, laughing. “Because that doesn’t just affect me, it affects my opponent too. I don’t want to let anyone down. And, of course, the fundraising is always there. Every chance I get to plug it I do. It’s always there.

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

Sponsor A Fighter  Tickets & Event Info

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