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Meet Mitchell ‘Marvelous’ Cairns, our #FTEC2023 Superhero!

Fight To End Cancer #FTEC2023 Fighter, Mitchell Cairns [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]

For Mitchell Cairns, the worlds of boxing and documentary filmmaking collided – in the best of ways – last December.

Days after his invitation to join the Fight To End Cancer team, Mitchell and his classmates at Toronto Metropolitan University premiered their film on Jennifer Huggins, the powerhouse behind the Kingsway Boxing Club, at the arthouse Carlton Cinema, selling tickets to raise money for the FTEC event.

Called Ascension: The Story of Kingsway Boxing, the film was a group project, part of Mitchell’s fourth-year practicum for his sports-media degree at Toronto Metropolitan University.

It was a project he contemplated from the start of his degree, although the format changed from a first-year plan to stage a real boxing bout with a classmate to what Mitchell describes as a more “mature” concept to highlight a boxing leader and mentor.

“I said to the team, ‘Hey guys, I know we don’t want to do an actual fight, but let me tell you about my boxing club, it’s pretty remarkable, the coaches, the fighters and just the atmosphere in general,’” Mitchell says.

“I explained to them who Jennifer is, how she was the president of Boxing Ontario which is something that you really don’t see in a male-driven sport. And as we continued to open the layers, we saw how the Fight To End Cancer impacts the community, how when they work with their fight team, most of their fighters are young, 15 or 16 years of age, and it’s something Jennifer and Virgil (Barrow) really love to do.”

For Mitchell, who plans to become a sports broadcaster, the boxing experience has impacted the way he views his goals, in work and life.

“Growing up, in high school and that first year of university, I was not as confident and I want to be on camera, so you need to hold yourself with confidence. One thing that I have always admired is boxers, because of their dedication to hard work but I would say that boxing is 20 per cent physical and 80 per cent mental. It’s all about how you feel in the moment.”

Boxing, as he quickly learned, is a skill that requires both confidence and, more than a small dose of self-awareness.

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

“The one thing that I really noticed about boxing is, it’s read and react. To get to know what your opponent is doing so you can react to them, you have to know who you are as a person and a fighter,”

“So, when we think about boxing, and compare it to life, it’s understanding the situation that you have and using the tools that you know you are confident in and trying to incorporate them into your life to proceed forward, to either win the boxing fight or to maybe get that dream job, that dream career, or the life you want going forward.”

~ Mitchell Cairns, FTEC2023 Fighter

Growing up in Etobicoke, Mitchell says he has long known of FTEC, through a neighbour, who once headlined as a fighter and his parents, who have attended the gala fundraiser for The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Growing older, Mitchell says he has become increasingly aware that the diagnosis of cancer is, sadly, quite common, hence his desire to raise money for research. To that end, he’s competing under the name Marvelous Mitchell, inspired by the Marvel superhero series.

Even superheroes, capes and all, get nervous sometimes.

“I always believe that if you’re not nervous for an event or for a competition, you’re not ready for it. You don’t care enough about it. So, there are some nerves going into it,” he says.

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Marvellous Mitch with family, team and released film

While he says it took some – understandable — convincing to get his mother to attend the May 27 fight night, Mitchell is ready for his turn in the ring, no matter the outcome.

“If I end up with a win, great. If we end up as a draw or it goes the distance, I’m happy with anything. It’s just more the experience of being up there and being part of such an incredible event that I’ve known growing up,” he says.

“Mostly, I plan on just enjoying myself up 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