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Badges to battle Saturday

May 11, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

BRAWLEY — After four successful campaigns, the Imperial County Law Enforcement Charity Foundation will again sponsor the Battle of the Badges boxing tournament.

The fifth annual event pits the Imperial Valley's finest against each other in the squared circle, with proceeds going to Valley police activities leagues.

The 10-fight event, titled "The Fall of the Peacemaker," kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday and is scheduled to include appearances by three-time super lightweight world champion Tony Lopez, former San Diego Charger Chuck Muncie, former Kansas City Chief Joe Martin and two-time Super Bowl champion and former Denver Bronco Glenn Cadrez of El Centro.

Cheerleaders from the XFL's Los Angeles Xtreme franchise will serve as ring-card girls for the bouts.

Making an appearance as a special-guest referee will be Joe Cortez, who has refereed more than 140 world championship fights, second most all-time behind Richard Steele.

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"When I was asked to do this I didn't hesitate at all. I'm always willing to do things like this to help out kids," said Cortez, a professional referee for 25 years. "I think it's important to give back to the community. You have to remember where you came from … never forget your roots. There's just not enough of that around these days.

"I do a lot of charity events and try to help as much as possible. People know I get involved in these type of things, so that's why I get invited to do them."

Along with being a 25-year professional referee, Cortez is a member of the pro boxing Hall of Fame, was a Golden Gloves champion and was 18-1 as a professional. He was referee for the largest outdoor boxing event, in Mexico City's at Estadio Azteca where over 160,000 fans gathered to watch a Julio Cesar Chavez title fight.

The main event for the Battle of the Badges will be Albert Phillips, representing Calipatria State Prison, taking on Zeke Awbrey from the California Department of Fish and Game.

Another featured bout will be a women's exhibition with Arlene Diaz from Centinela State Prison battling Veronica Castaneda of Yuma.

"I feel pretty prepared for this fight. I've been training hard getting ready for this," said Diaz, who has 12 amateur fights. "Because it's an exhibition I might not want to go as hard, but if she wants to be aggressive then I'll step it up."

Tickets for the Battle of the Badges can be purchased at local PAL offices. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $15 for VIP, $50 for ringside seats and $250 for gold sponsor packages. For more information call Chris Eaton at 344-8464.

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