Since commandeering his place on the RiverHawks with the number 5 jersey, Fukala has shown nothing but deep seeded support for his team. He will go the extra mile in any game to protect and serve in his position as forward and enforcer. For that, he has put in numerous hours of sweat and hard work.
Becoming a fighter wasn’t an overnight decision. Fukala says he accumulated a lot of fights while in juniors.
In transition to the role he sought, Fukala trained with a pro boxer in Chicago for two years.
“He taught me the art of standing up and fighting,” Fukala said. “He really helped my conditioning. He was a real addition to my training regiment. In college I hit the bag a lot.”
Later in his college career, he became involved in MMA.
“I started MMA and was going to fight (last) August but hockey picked up,” Fukala said. “There is a lot of grabbing and pulling involved. It made me a more patient fighter.”
Fukala’s style of training and fighting coincides with some of the great NHL enforces that are on the ice today.
“Trevor Gillies and Boogaard are real tuff,” Fukala said. “My favorite guy in the NHL I watch the most is either Ken Jenson or Shawn Thornton. He (Thornton) is in my weight class and fights all heavy weights. I think his style fits my size and how I should fight.”