FDNY dedicating popular charity boxing 'The Battle of the Badges' match to fallen brothers

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- The Battle of the Badges is a popular charity boxing match at Madison Square Garden that pits the toughest of the tough from the police, fire department and EMS -- and this year, the FDNY is dedicating its efforts in memory of one of their fallen brothers.

Members of the FDNY boxing team held their final training session at Trinity Boxing Gym in Tribeca before the big event on Friday.

Other firefighters, police officers and first responders from Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Jersey City and Denver.

Boxing is in 28-year-old Dmitriy Teplitskiy's blood. He works for the FDNY in Howard Beach.

"It's the first thing in my life that made me feel like a champion, that gave me the goal of wanting to be a real champion, give me honor," Teplitskiy said. "I want to keep doing it, prove to myself, my family, everybody."

The charity event raises money for building homes for heroes, and this year is for the Matthew McDevitt Children's scholarship fund.

McDevitt, a New York City firefighter, was just 31 years old when he lost his battle with cancer.

"They say if you love your job, you never work a day in your life, so i love working with these guys," FDNY firefighter and team coach Mike Reno said. "So, it's not really work for me."

As for Friday night, amateur rules will be in place and fights will be three rounds, between one and two minutes.

It will be FDNY Jim Lunny's first fight outside of the schoolyard.

"I saw it up there, and I'm one of the senior guys in the firehouse and I thought I'd just egg them on," the 56-year-old joked. "They all jumped on the bandwagon. I'm now the one who is having to fight and they're having a good time."
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