Westside Boxing Club's Andy Smith asked the policemen and firemen to fight for charity, after seeing a similar fundraiser in Missouri. Said Smith,"It originally started in Kansas City, Missouri. They just had their 12th year event. They had 12,000 people in attendance, and they raised over $100,000."
They got 3,000 fans in Chattanooga last year for the third annual Guns and Hoses event at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center. Now they're moving the event to McKenzie Arena to hopefully handle even bigger crowds. Said Lt. Keith Liles with the Chattanooga Fire Department,"Get a bunch of your co-workers out there cheering you on, and it's pretty fun."
But why do these guys want to get in the ring? Said Chattanooga Patrol Officer Johnny Jones,"Kind of got volunteered for it too." Reporter-"You got volunteered by who?" Said Jones,"Chief Dunn. I'm throwing that name out there."
It's much easier to throw a name around than to throw a bunch of punches. Said Jones,"You throw a fast flurry. You'll be done. You wear down real quick." Said Smith,"Well, when they first get in, they're as green as grass. They don't know much about boxing. We just start them from ground zero. Just teach them all the basics. Number one, how to protect themselves." Said Liles,"What I remember most about the first time getting in the ring is the headache afterwards. I also remember just how much it takes out of you." Said Smith,"It's three, one-minute rounds. It doesn't seem like a lot, but those one-minute rounds seem like an eternity inside the ropes." Added Jones,"I've had my eye blacked a few times. Oh yeah. It still gets through.(protective head gear) It still gets through."
At least the pain is for a good cause. The event benefits the Forgotten Children's Fund and the local Westside boxing club. Said Smith,"Some of them want to see their friends take a whipping in the ring, and some of them want to see their friends win." Added Liles,"I think they want to see us get beat up."(laughter)