JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville officers and firefighters will defend our city’s honor when they face New York police at the 22nd annual Guns N’ Hoses Charity Boxing Event. The bell rings at 6:30 p.m. at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday.
Fifteen Jacksonville officers and firefighters have trained hundreds of hours in preparation for Saturday’s match. It’s all for a good cause, raising money for local charities.
“These fighters they’ve taken their licks and they’re very committed and they put in the time and made the commitments,” said Carl Graham, the Guns N’ Hoses lead trainer.
Graham said it’s a good personal challenge for the boxers.
“It brings a lot of unity,” he said. “I can tell you coming out of COVID right now, it’s no secret that everybody’s looking forward to the big half of the second half of the year.”
Guns N’ Hoses is put on by the Fraternal Order of Police Foundation and is their largest fundraiser of the year.
The event kicks off with a street party outside the arena at 3:30 p.m. The bell rings at 6:30 p.m. The matches consist of three one-minute rounds. Then there’s an after party at 9:30 p.m. with live music.
The boxers have been training three times a week getting ready for the event and it’s more than a boxing charity event, it’s a way for all boxers to be connected.
“I’ve been doing this since 2015 and I’ve met a lot of people, guys they come and go, and most of them they say we’ve tied a real strong bond and become like family whether it’s firefighters or the police,” said Hector Gutierrez a corrections officers with JSO.
Gutierrez is also a four-fight veteran gearing up to go head-to-head.
“It means a lot. I get to help Jacksonville people that are in need,” he said.
He and the other boxers are fighting for a better community.
Over the past 21 years this event has taken place, it’s raised more than $1.6 million for local charities in Jacksonville.
The event is expected to bring in a crowd of at least 10,000 people.