ST. LOUIS - In just a few weeks, police and firefighters will meet with gloves on for the annual Guns ‘N Hoses boxing event. Men and women literally fight for the fallen. Police, firefighters, and EMTs use boxing to bolster support for families of fellow first responders.
They're committed to helping others but often find themselves in dangerous situations. Almost 60 years ago, BackStoppers stepped up to help loved ones when a first responder dies in the line of duty.
“We want to take care of the families and we're going to continue taking care of those families," said Jack Martorelli, a member of BackStoppers board of directors. "That's what it is all about."
Guns ‘N Hoses is a major fundraiser for BackStoppers. Fighters will step into the ring in front of thousands and go toe-to-toe.
A few weeks before the event, they all get together for the box off, where organizers match boxers based on skill.
Chief Brad Williams of the Dunklin Fire Protection District in Pevely made the cut. He must be a highly skilled boxer, correct?
“No, I've never boxed in my life, never, no experience what so ever," he said.
That fearless attitude is what makes the event popular for the public and these amateur boxers.
“It's a way to give back to the community and a way to take care of the people in law enforcement and firefighters. When something unfortunate happens to them and we lose them, this is a way to take care of the family and honor them," Williams said.
Organizers expect a sell out this year. The event raised $700,000 last year. Police in the blue corner, fire in the red corner.
“It's an adrenaline rush out of this world. I'm excited about it," said Chief Williams.
You need to hurry if you want to go to Guns ‘N Hoses this year. Tickets are going fast. The date is Wednesday, Nov. 21st at the Enterprise Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and boxing starts at 6:30 p.m.