published Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Police, firefighters box for charity

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    Staff photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Dec 11, 2010 - Chattanooga police officer Corey "Green Mile" Stokes, left, jabs at the Chattanooga Fire Department's William "Sweet Milk" Jackson in the 2010 Battle of the Badges boxing benefit Saturday night at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Stokes won the bout.

Before a packed house of more than 1,000 people, area law enforcement and firefighters squared off Saturday night in the second annual Battle of the Badges boxing event.

Chattanooga firefighter Avery Hubbard said the event aims to promote brotherhood between the two groups.

“We should have had something like this long before today,” Hubbard said.

He and his friends joked as they watched the night’s second match, between firefighters Johnathan Higgins and Daniel Santore.

“I’m not going for anyone in this fight,” Hubbard said. “I work with both those guys.”

The referees didn’t want to choose, either — they declared both men winners.

Looking around the packed auditorium, event coordinator Joe Smith called the night a success.

“Look at this crowd. It’s a packed house,” Smith said.

He said proceeds would be split between the Forgotten Child Fund and the Westside Boxing Club’s Jabbin’ for Jesus program.

Event officials said the Forgotten Child Fund helped buy Christmas gifts for 4,500 children last year and they’re seeing greater need this year.

Smith said the Jabbin’ for Jesus program gives young people a chance to learn boxing and stay off the streets.

“We offer a safe place for the kids and keep them in the gym,” Smith said. “If we keep them off the streets maybe they won’t get shot.”

Mose Duckett, who was with friends in the audience, said the event was a good idea.

“They are raising money for the kids,” Duckett said. “The police department and fire department are doing what they can to help out.”

As the night wore on, the fighters and the crowd got more and more spirited.

The seventh bout was between William “Sweet Milk” Jackson, representing the fire department, and Corey “The Green Mile” Stokes.

The crowd cheered Stokes, who was declared winner at the end of three rounds.

It was the first win of the night for law enforcement.

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