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Fighters set to compete in Battle of the Badges Saturday

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Battle of the Badges VIII, a charity boxing event, will take place Saturday in Citrus Heights, as 22 law enforcement, firefighter and military personnel participate in the all new boxing series. Battle of the Badges Sacramento, an organization of public safety and military amateur boxing, benefits numerous local charities on recommendation from the fighters, who are holding their first United Combat Association (UCA) sanctioned matches. A handful of correctional officers from Folsom’s two prisons are slated for fight night, including 6-foot, 1-inch, 250-pound heavyweight Mike Gomez in the main event. Weigh-ins will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Folsom Lake Sports Bar and Saturday’s fights around 6:30 p.m. at Liquid Nightclub in Citrus Heights. Boxers will be ranked according to UCA sanctions and if they win Saturday, will have a shot at potential title fights next summer. Israel Montes, Battle of the Badges SAC promoter, has been with the organization since its inception in 2003. He hosted the event at the Folsom Community Center three times from 2004 to 2006 and works at the California State Prison, Sacramento, more commonly known as new Folsom prison. “I wanted to keep the venue close with the people I work with and felt it would attract a lot of attention being near two prisons, a police station and a fire station,” said Montes. “I chose the Folsom Lake Sports Bar to hold weigh-ins through the owner and operator of Lucky’s Barber Shop (Aaron Ralls). This year we have included the military to be a part of this awesome organization.” Three new Folsom prison correctional officers are on Saturday’s fight card along with Gomez. Gomez fought in last year’s 2010 event at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, where we won in a TKO in about one minute, thirty seconds. The main event will feature Gomez against Bryan Williams of Fresno Police Department. Gomez has worked at new Folsom prison for four years and has been training with Mel Walker at Grimz Gym in Sacramento for the past few months. He has a black belt in Chinese Hung Gar Kung Fu and is working on another in Shou Shu, a form of kung fu self defense. “It’s going to be a bunch of cops beating the hell out of each other,” said Gomez with a laugh. “Getting in shape has been brutal. I expect to go in there and do the best I can and have fun while doing it. [Williams] is pretty good; he’s been boxing a long time. I guess this is his last fight, so it should be a good one to watch.” Javier Banuelos and Chris McElroy are fighting out of the Red Corner as the two other new Folsom prison officers competing. James Davis, an officer from Folsom State Prison, will fight out of the Red Corner. All of the fighters from the two Folsom prisons fought at least once previously with Battle of the Badges. McElroy fought at the 2009 event at Raley Field in Sacramento. He weighs about 215 pounds and will be fighting David Richardson (220 pounds) of CDC Solano. Banuelos (190) trains at Niavaroni Kickboxing and was awarded the most exciting fighter at the Battle of the Badges VII last year in Sacramento. He is fighting Brenden Reavis (190), a Child Protective Service officer, in what Montes said should be one of the night’s most exciting fights. James Dorris, a Folsom police officer, is not fighting in this year’s event, but will be competing in the future, according to Montes. He has fought in previous Battle of the Badge fights and is a two-time Gold Medal champion in the Western Police and Fire Games. A pre-fight ceremony honoring fallen officers, firefighters and soldiers will precede Saturday’s events. BATTLE OF THE BADGES AUGUST 20, 2011 RED CORNER BLUE CORNER Brent Burkhart *165 Vs. Gary Mungia 165 CDC-DVI Army Jose Hermosillo 160 Vs. Jed McNamara 165 Williams PD Dept. of ABC Dru McDonald 250 Vs. Craig Hamblin 250 Sac Fire CDC Solano Chris Martinez 160 Vs. Orlando Rivera 160 Avenal PD Border Patrol Javier Banuelos 190 Vs Brenden Reavis 190 CDC CSP-Sac Child Protective Serv. Eduardo Barajas 160 Vs. Ruben Jones 160 Williams PD CHP INTERMISSION Craig Colosimo 175 Vs. James Davis 175 CDC-Mule Creek CDC-Folsom Chris McElroy 215 Vs. Dave Richardson 220 CDC CSP Sac CDC Solano Francisco Flores145 Vs. Neil Tremethick 145 Stanislaus County Sheriff Army Mike Hernandez 195 Vs. Noel Montes 195 El Cerrito PD CDC-CCPOA Bryan Williams 220 Vs. Mike Gomez* 250 Fresno PD CDC-CSP Sac