SAN DIEGO - Firefighters, police officers and military personnel will go toe-to-toe inside the boxing ring as part of the annual "Battle of the Badges."
For more than 27 years, the Community Youth Athletic Center in National City has made a difference, one round at a time.
Through the sport of boxing, they continue to shape the lives of under-served kids throughout San Diego and this weekend, they take the boxing ring to the deck of the USS Midway.
"In the Marine Corps, you use a term called soup sandwich," said Maurice Turman, a police officer with the San Diego Police Department. "I felt like I was a soup sandwich because I didn't know anything, never boxed before."
Neither had Andrew Ashburn, a case manager at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.
"It's a whole other training," said Ashburn. "A whole other beast and it was good to see a different pace, try something new, work muscles I've never worked before, different cardio."
Both men have been training since February for the event which includes 10 fights, three rounds, two minutes each.
"It's like I've been training and training and waiting and waiting for it, now it's game day and it's like normal game day jitters," said Turman.
But both are also competing for something bigger. All proceeds from the event benefit the kids at the Community Youth Athletic Center which continues to provide a positive outlet for at risk youth.
"They box every day of the week, 5 days a week and not only do they box, they come here and they have tutoring here," said Turman. "They help them get their grades up so it's an all around program, it's not just a sport."
"Giving them a positive reinforcement, something good to go to," said Ashburn. "It helps keep our youth, I believe, out of trouble, out of the system and something to look forward to."
Doors to the event on the USS Midway open at 6 p.m. with fights starting around 7 p.m.