Blood Spattered at a Charity Boxing Event

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That might not sound like part of a perfect weekend mileage running, but it was.

As luck would have it, I was out in Long Beach this weekend collecting miles towards American Airlines status when I friend told me about a charity boxing tournament happening on Saturday. Right up my alley as a long time UFC fan, and as it turns out, much more interesting than most of the professional bouts I’ve seen.

The Battle of the Badges is an annual event hosted by the Community Youth Athletic Center featuring amateur boxers from local law enforcement, military, Coast Guard, and firefighters all fighting for a good cause. Helping at risk kids find a safe haven and develop confidence through fitness and boxing.

CYAC Battle of the Badges Color Guard

I managed to get a front row seat to the ring and wasn’t prepared for how great the matches were.

CYAC Battle of the Badges blue corner

Extremely professional and far more enthusiastic than I was used to. The CYAC president put in best in his quote in the San Diego Union~Tribune:

None of the boxers were interested in a laid back fighting style. Each was going to relish his moment in the ring.

“You have to watch them sometimes,” Casillas said. “These guys don’t fight normally. Good professional fighters can control themselves. These guys are throwing everything.”

From the moment the bell sounded each boxer was giving it their all. Giving it a little too much in fact. A hilarious flaw in my love of mixed martial arts is that I’m squeamish about blood. Just seeing it on TV I start to feel woozy.

So I was less than thrilled when one of the boxers developed a very bloody nose in the first round.

Credit: Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union Tribune

Credit: Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union Tribune

I managed to get through the match but escaped as soon as it was over to regain my composure. Only to discover there was a smear of blood on my hand. And what was that damp red spot on my dress? (no pictures because I could barely stay conscious) Apparently I was sitting even closer than I thought…

But the best fights of the evening were the CYAC kids, in particular the 12 & 13 year old girls. Total warriors! They went at each other like tigers and hugged at the end with great sportsmanship.

CYAC Battle of the Badges girls

I had an amazing time and was glad I could support a group near and dear to my heart. Especially since it hasn’t been easy — they almost lost the gym when National City tried to claim it through eminent domain for some luxury condos that would probably never sell. They finally won on appeal and continue making a real difference in kids lives. Truly “Where Olympic dreams begin.” Two of their students are ranked nationally. If you’re interested in donating to their cause, its tax deductible and will make a huge impact!

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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