"This is my third Battle of the Badges and it means a lot more to me because it's dedicated to my grandmother," said Phillips. "She's always been there for me. She was at the first Battle of the Badges I competed in and was there watching me and cheering me on. She's not going to be there to watch this time but what I do on Saturday is for her."
While Phillips' heart will be with his grandmother, he knows that what he does in the ring Saturday will be for a good cause as proceeds from the event benefit local police activities and athletics leagues.
"This event is all about the kids. What we're doing is trying to raise as much as we can for the youths of the Imperial Valley," said Phillips. "We're out here training every day and I hope that the people who come out and watch know that we're doing this for the youths."
As passionate as Phillips is about the event, so too is Brawley resident Mike Capeci, who will be representing the Imperial County District Attorney's Office.
For five-time Battle of the Badges competitor Capeci, his fight against Tony "Flash Bang" Lain (Imperial Valley Street Interdiction Team) has slightly more significance.
"This fight means more to me because of who I'm fighting. It means a whole lot more than the others I've fought," said 41-year-old Capeci, nicknamed "Boom Boom." "I really don't want to go into detail, but back in October I had a busted shoulder and I was in a sling and (Lain) called me out. He challenged me to a fight at the Battle of the Badges. So that's part of why this is important to me.
"All I have to say about this fight is that Mike ‘Boom Boom' Capeci is going to pull the pin on Tony ‘Flash Bang' Lain on Saturday night," said Capeci.
Brawley's Arlene "Poriqua" Diaz, representing Centinela State Prison, enters the event as she would any other fight.
"I look at this like another challenge for me. It's a challenge going out there, fighting and raising money," said the 32-year-old Diaz, who will take on an opponent yet to be determined. "If anything, it just makes me feel good knowing that I'm a part of this. And as long as I still feel like a teen-ager I'm going to keep doing this for a few more years."
Those looking to attend the sixth annual Battle of the Badges at the Planter's Lounge in Brawley can purchase pre-sale tickets at Lou Lange's Music Bar in Brawley or at Clark Baker Music in El Centro. Admission is $15 for general seating, $20 for VIP and $250 for two gold-sponsored ringside tickets. For more information call 344-8464.