FDNY Boxing on the Move

FDNY Boxing Team Helps London Metro Team Raise Money for the Isabel Hospice

~See Mike Reno's article below the pictures~

It was lucky Friday the13th at the Hilton Metropole in Paddington, London where the FDNY Bravest Boxing Team would take on the London Metro Police Boxing Club. The black tie event had some great boxing action to go with dinner.

The first match of the night pitched the FDNY’s Hildy Santana against England’s Katie Smith. Katie had a little experience and size on Hildy, and was able to use it to her advantage. The two female combatants went straight at it and wasted no time. Katie’s long combinations made the Bronx firefighter have to work that much harder to try and get inside. With no quit in her, Hildy continued trying to land big shots, but the English boxer was ready for a tough fight. At the final bell, Katie Smith was victorious in putting the FD team down 0-1.

The next scrap saw the super-heavyweights show the crowd some technical boxing to go with big punching. Jonathan Velasquez of the FDNY weighed in at 105kg and was the smaller boxer in the ring. Franklin Ezebuenyi of the UK, was the bigger boxer and was definitely looking to score some points with his right hand. The men did not start as fast as the women, but boxed with a measured pace while looking for openings that they could use to score. Velasquez’s fast jab and quick footwork kept him safe from Ezebuenyi’s power. When the two would get close, Velasquez would let a shoe shine flurry go, which helped him edge out the win. The FDNY had successfully tied up the matches.

The following contest was in the light heavyweight division. Josiah Rivera of the FDNY was matched up with Englishman Martin Dimitri. Martin was able to use his southpaw boxing stance to his advantage in the first round to stay clear of Josiah’s power combinations. In the second and third round Josiah had adjusted to the southpaw riddle and landed some big punches. When the decision was announced, the Metro team had won a close match and put their team back on top 2 to 1.

Welterweight fighter Jeffrey Barreau, of the FDNY, would try and even the night up with his bout against Metro Police’s Jack Bembridge. Jeffrey used his height and reach to his advantage with a fast jab and good footwork. The Brooklyn fireman seemed to control the fight and when Jack was able to get inside to unleash his punches, Jeff would seem to block all of them. Jeff as well as the FDNY team were surprised when the English boxer was awarded the victory. The FDNY team now found themselves in the hole by 2 matches.

It would be up to Danny Massa of the fire department to try and turn things around. His opponent Jack Shepherd of the Metro Police would not make it easy for the American. Danny started fast, getting inside the slightly taller brit and landing some great left hooks to the body. The English cop had trouble keeping the fireman outside because of his quickness and head movement. In the second round Jack Shepherd made some adjustments and was able to land some strong shots to Danny as he would come in. It did not stop the Bronx fireman and he was able to now add some strong headshots to the body work. The relentless pressure and strong body punching earned the FDNY a victory. FDNY now had 2 wins but the English were still in the lead with 3 wins.

The FDNY needed to win the 2 remaining fights to win the night. Alex Tcherniavski of the FDNY had his work cut out for him. Alex, knowing the team needed the win, brought the fight straight to his opponent Tom Abounader. Alex used his quick jab and footwork to get inside. Once Alex was inside he let go with some great body work. Alex’s explosive offense and great body work forced the referee to stop the fight giving the FDNY another win and giving both teams 3 wins a piece.

The final match between NY and UK would decide which team won overall. Steve Ramhold of the FDNY and Chris Aarons of the London Metro Police would put forth such an effort to win their match that it had to be the fight of the night. Both men, knowing they needed to win, came out strong and held nothing back. Ramhold would throw bombs, but it seemed that the harder he threw his punches the Englishman would come back just as strong. Neither fighter had any quit in them and knew what was riding on this one fight. In a great back and forth struggle the fireman had given the Metro Policeman 2 standing 8 counts. This gave Steve Ramhold the slight edge in a split decision victory. When the decision was announced the crowd gave the two pugilists a standing ovation for such an exciting fight. With Steve Ramhold’s win, FDNY won the night 4 wins to 3.

-Mike Reno