Tucson area first responders don boxing gloves for good cause

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson area police officers battled head-to-head Saturday night in the fourth annual Battle of the Badges.  They're getting in the ring for a good cause.

"Takes a lot of dedication, determination, hard-headedness.  I know I put a lot of hours into it, how many hours probably all of us put into it," said Figueroa.

Christopher Figueroa is a firefighter with the Tohono O'odham Nation Fire Department.

He's going head to head with a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy and he comes to the match with a victory from last year's event.

"I basically knocked the guy down twice and he wasn't able to compete the rest of the fight, so I basically got the best of him," said Figueroa.

This is the fourth year local first responders spent hours in the gym and countless sessions with trainers to compete in the Battle of the Badges.

The event benefits the Tucson Police Athletic League Association, which uses recreational and education opportunities to keep kids on the right track.

"The best preparation is always basic training.  Starting from the basics and working them up to the level, if they got to lost 25 pounds I'll work with them do a lot of cardio," said John "Kyoshi" Colmenero.

"Just knowing that there's someone out there training to beat you up, that kind of helps out a lot," said Figueroa.

The Police Athletic League, or PAL, is a national program committed to preventing juvenile crime and violence.