When Jon Schneider and Eilon Kedem step into the ring against their opponents on October 21st on the Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing promoted show at the Hilton Rye Town Hotel in Rye Brook, NY, they will be doing what they know how to do best, and that's fight.
But while many people throughout the world view boxing as one of the toughest and most brutal sports, the type of combat Schneider and Kedem have experienced in their lives makes the sport of boxing look like a piece of cake.
Schneider, who sports a record of 7-3-1, 5KO and will be taking on John Douglas (6-13-3, 3KO) in a six round cruiserweight match-up, while Kedem (9-2-4, 6KO) will battle it out against Julio Valadez (3-6-1) in a six round super bantamweight match-up.
At young ages both Schneider who is now 30- years-old and Kedem (25-year-old) served their countries in the armed forces. Schneider entered the U.S. Marine corps upon graduating high school and served four years of active duty.
He spent an entire year in Iraq and served in Operation Dessert Fox and Operation Southern Watch. It wasn't until after he returned home, that Schneider, or as the boxing world knows him, "The Fighting Marine," began boxing.
"I played sports all my life," says Schneider. "I always had that competitive nature in my blood ever since I was a young kid. I played lacrosse, football and wrestled while I was at Roosevelt High School. I helped my football team win a state championship during my time at Roosevelt, and I was also on the All-Marine wrestling team, while I served."
"I went to a gym one day to see what boxing was all about, and right away I loved it. I started competitively fighting in 2005 and turned pro soon after in 2006.
Like Schneider, Kedem has a similar story, except his time wasn't spent fighting for the U.S. forces, but rather for our allied troops in Israeli.
Kedem joined the Israel Defense Forces Navy Seals Unit in 2002, and served as a crew Commander in the Israeli Navy from 2003 to 2005. While serving Kedem fell in love with the sport.
"I started boxing while I was in service, and immediately I fell in love with the sport. It's a tough sport, and it's not for everyone, but it's definitely for me," says Kedem.
Kedem made his professional debut eight days after he was released from active duty, and moved to the United States in early 2006.
"All the best fighters in the world are from the U.S. so I knew if I wanted to be the best I would have to move here. I love it here. I appreciate everything that this country has to offer me."
There is one thing though that Kedem hasn't gotten used to yet.
"The winter is brutal. I am not used to this cold weather, and don't think I ever will. It is only October and I am freezing already," says Kedem with a chuckle.
Both Schneider and Kedem take what they have learned in the services with them into their training and into the ring.
"If you want to be successful in this sport you have to be very disciplined, and be willing to learn, which is very similar to the armed forces. I have taken that fighting mentality that I learned in the Marine Corps and brought that with me into my boxing career. Only difference is I have traded my high power rifle in for a pair of boxing gloves," says Schneider.
"I love waking up in the morning and putting in the training and all the hard work," says Kedem. "Whether it is defending your country and your flag, or defending your pride and honor in that ring, as long as I continue to work hard and give it everything I have I know I will come out on top."
Tickets for Rumble at the Hilton Rye Town II are priced at Gold Ringside ($100), Silver Ringside ($60) and reserved seating ($40). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Star Boxing office at (718) 823-2000 or (www.completeticketsolutions.com ).
The Hilton Rye Town Hotel is located at 699 Westchester Ave in Rye Brook, NY. Doors open at 6:30 PM with the first bout scheduled for 7:30. Free parking is included in all ticket purchases.