Evander Holyfield, five-time heavyweight champion of the world, took a swing at prostate cancer on May 28 right here in Providence at Balletto's Boxing Gym. With locally-based brand culture and communications firm (add)ventures in his corner, as well as his philanthropic organization Team Holyfield, The Champ shot a PSA as part of a new national campaign for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Prostate cancer affects one in seven men in the US, with African-American men being 1.6 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasians and 2.4 time more likely to die from it. The disease is very treatable when caught early, but stigmas surrounding examinations may prevent some men from getting checked.
"You got to get over the ego thing when this can save lives," Evander said after the shoot, suggesting that men need to put their health ahead of their macho ideals. "That's why they chose me," adding jokingly, "Who's more macho than I am?"
"We had to show that tough men fight," adds (add)venture President and CEO Stephen Rosa.
The PSA will feature Evander in the ring doing what he does best while encouraging men to get screened for prostate cancer. This project was particularly close to Stephen's heart. As someone with family and friends who have struggled with prostate cancer it was important for him to get that message across. It was also important for him to bring Evander and this cause to Providence.
Growing up in Fox Point he remembers the fighters who came through and stopped at Manny Almeida's Ringside Bar.
"Our world suddenly got bigger when a champion came to Manny Almeida's bar," Stephen said. "To do this in Providence at the famous Balletto's gym just means a lot to me personally."
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