Face the Fight and WIN Tour: Chicago, IL

Oct. 09, 2018, 3:04 p.m. (ET)


Last night, the Face the Fight and WIN National Tour officially kicked-off with a stop at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago, IL. This particular Ronald McDonald House is located near the world famous, Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Beautiful Fighter®, USA Boxing and USA Judo have teamed up for the “Face the Fight & WIN National Tour.” From October 2018 - 2020, all organizations will be visiting the 50 states, giving both judo and boxing athletes/coaches the opportunity to visit a local Ronald McDonald House to meet with children and their families.

"The Mission of Face the Fight & WIN Tour is to empower, inspire and give hope to children and their families who are ‘Facing the Fight’ of their lives,” said Delilah Matos, owner of Beautiful Fighter. “Ronald McDonald House Charities was selected to bring a nationwide renewed awareness of their outstanding support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.”


USA Judo was represented by four of the top, up and coming junior judoka in the country.

Natalija Stanojevic: 2018 Junior World Team member, Silver Medalist 2018 Junior Pan American Championships, Gold Medalist 2017 Infantil Pan American Championships, ranked #1 in the Cadet+70kg, IJF Jr +78kg and #4 in the Sr +78kg divisions.

Michael Mutz: 2017 Cadet World Team member, 2017 Cadet Pan American Team member, 2018 Cadet and Junior Pan American Team member, ranked #1 in the Cadet 81kg division.

Nefeli Papadakis: 2015, 2017, 2018 Junior World Team member, 2018 Sr Pan American Team member, 2017/2018 US Sr National Champion, ranked #1 domestically in both the Sr and IJF Jr 78kg division.

Max Antoniou: 2017 Junior World Team member, 2018 Cadet and Junior Pan American Team member, 2018 US Sr National Champion, ranked #1 in the Sr 55kg, #2 in the Cadet 55kg and #3 in the IJF 55kg divisions.


Natalija, Mikey, Nefeli and Max all train at the Menomonee Judo Club, which is located less than 15 minutes from the Ronald McDonald House.

“We were all very excited to be part of the inaugural event. Face the Fight and WIN is such a worthy cause. It was great to be able to spend some time with the kids staying there and their families. Hopefully we brightened up there day, just a bit.”, explained Nefeli.

“At Menomonee Judo we have a true passion for giving back to our surrounding communities, using Judo as the vehicle. The Face the Fight and Win Tour is a great fit for us. It gave us the opportunity to expand our reach and at the same time, put a smile on these kids faces. I’m very happy to have played a small role in the event.”, said Mikey.

“I had a lot of fun! The kids had such great attitudes. They stay positive, regardless of what’s going on in their lives. They are the real champions. I can learn a lot from them. I’d love to go back and visit the Ronald McDonald House again in the near future.” acknowledged Natalija.

“It was a great evening. It also helps keep things in perspective. Sometimes when you’re having a tough day or a rough practice at the dojo, there’s a tendency to allow yourself to get down. Watching how positive these kids and their parents are, knowing that they’re engaged in the fight of their lives, is truly inspirational. They are the true champions. I’m extremely glad that I was able to be a part of the event.”, commented Max.


The next stops on the Face the Fight and Win Tour will be in Iowa City, Iowa on October 24, 2018 and Phoenix, Arizona on October 29, 2018.