Second Battle of the Badges boxing event scheduled for this weekend after long wait | Recreational sports

One of the first area events to be canceled during the first wave of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was the Watertown Area Boxing Club Badge Battle. The long-awaited second installment is finally here.

The showcase that features fighters from law enforcement, fire and other emergency services is scheduled for Saturday at Jefferson Community College. It’s the first boxing card put together by the WABC since the pandemic began nearly two years ago and event chairman and organizer Johnny Pepe is thrilled to finally have some competition in the ring. .

“We haven’t had anything since 2019, so it’s been a while,” Pepe said. “It’s nice to see that the plans we made three or four months ago are coming to fruition.”

The second version of the event, which debuted at Savory Downtown in 2019, was three-quarters sold out before USA Boxing canceled all events. The club attempted to hold an event in September, but it didn’t take off. This year’s card will take place at the McVean Gymnasium at the TCG, which will have more seating than the first round of fights and has generated a lot of interest. Front row seats for the event are sold out.

“It’s pretty cool that the front row seats are already sold out,” Pepe said. “My phone has been ringing nonstop with people asking for tickets and I’m grateful to the community.”

Pepe is happy to have the biggest room. There were issues with being able to fit fighters, fans, and the ring into the Savory Downtown location. The 2020 event was scheduled to take place at the Bruce Wright Conference Center on Faichney Drive.

“It’s a good feeling to have enough space,” said Pepe. “Last time, we just didn’t have enough room for everything.”

The fights will draw offers from local police and probation officers, as well as those from Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester. JCC hosting the event allows fighters and fans to quickly hop on and off Interstate 81. Pepe added that the fighters have been training for weeks and are ready to go.

“I can’t believe the event has grown because it just started with local guys,” said Pepe.

Most of the funds will be donated to two areas, the first benefiting Callie Taylor. She was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma and is the daughter of Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jamie Taylor, who fought on the inaugural Battle of the Badges card in 2019. Money donated to Taylor will help cover medical and travel expenses.

“Jamie fought in the first event and I just like to include the community,” Pepe said. “He’s kind of like one of ours.”

The second will benefit the Northern New York K-9 Fund. This was created in 2015 to meet the medical, safety and protection needs of K-9s who serve or have served in local communities. These funds will be used for K-9 vests and other expenses.

Tickets are available through the club’s website www.watertownareaboxingclub.com and cost $20 for general admission. For more information, call (315) 783-4980. Doors open at 5 p.m. and fights begin at 6 p.m.

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