He suffered serious injuries when a traffic stop went bad in early 2016 and he was shot four times.
But recovering from those injuries, the police detective said he wanted one more shot — in the boxing ring.
Saturday night, this undercover detective will get that as well as give some shots during the 19th annual Guns N’ Hoses at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. He will be going up against a Jacksonville firefighter.
Because he’s undercover, the Times-Union isn’t naming the detective with 12 years on the force. But he said he’s glad to be part of one of 13 bouts that pit police officers against firefighters for charity. With a record of two wins and one loss, he said he’s been training hard over the past three months to win again.
“No doubts. I wanted to come back. What happened to me can’t beat me,” the 37-year-old detective said. “… If I don’t do it now, the firefighters keep getting younger and we keep getting older.”
The annual match between those who wield badges vs. those who heft hoses sees 13 pairings of three, one-minute rounds of pugilistic play in the ring, with a street party before and after an event that raises money for Fraternal Order of Police Foundation’s charities. Foundation chairman David Stevens said the 8,000 to 10,000 fans should have a good time before, during and after.
“We have a lot of new faces fighting this year,” Stevens said. “I haven’t had an opportunity to watch our firefighters train because they are really secretive about it, but our police look awfully good.”
The firefighters are the defending champs with an overall 10-6 record and two ties. This year sees officers from the Jacksonville, Nassau, St. Johns and Orange County sheriff’s offices, plus the U.S. Coast Guard and Brunswick police. They pair off against firefighters from Jacksonville, St. Johns and Orange counties, Leesburg and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.
The fighters gathered Tuesday for the official weigh-in. Blue T-shirt-clad officers stomped into the ring at Mandarin’s Rebounderz bellowing “JSO!” as firefighters in red T-shirts paraded in, arms raised to the sounds of the Ohio Players’ R&B classic, “Fire.” After each boxing pair was weighed, they faced off in classic pugilistic poses, fists cocked.
One pairing pits Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office bicycle officer Abigail Mccaughey against Jacksonville Fire Station 54’s Jamie Dunlap, both predicting wins Saturday.
This will be Dunlap’s second time in the Guns N’ Hoses ring after rowing in college and playing women’s football for the Jacksonville Dixie Blues for a few years.
“There’s not too many women who do it, but I wanted to stay active and I love the sport and I’m having a blast,” she said. “I won my first fight. … It’s you vs. someone else and it’s all out a ‘fight to the death’ kind of thing.”
It’s Mccaughey’s first time inside the ropes at the charity event, joking that even riding a bicycle beat is “never enough exercise.” She has done some boxing in the past, but nothing “to this altitude.”
“I have been wanting to do it for a couple of years and people have been asking me, so this year I finally decided to step up and do it,” she said. “I did ultimate fighting for a little bit, and ju-jitsu when I joined JSO. … I’m going to definitely hose the competition.”
Guns N’ Hoses begins with a street party with food trucks, two bands and live entertainment at 3:30 p.m. on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard in front of the arena, that event resuming at 9:30 p.m. Actor R. Lee Ermey, the iconic drill sergeant in “Full Metal Jacket,” returns as celebrity guest.The event will honor the family of Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Eric Oliver, who died in November while chasing an illegal immigrant on Florida A1A in Yulee. The family of Dallas Police Department Officer Patrick Zamarripa, killed July 7 during a march, also will be honored.
Also expected to attend is former U.S. Marine Sgt. John “Tig” Tiegen, co-author of “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi.” The celebrity judges include former Jaguars players Sen’derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Mike Hollis and Josh Scobee, plus local NFL veteran Leon Washington and pro wrestler Ted DiBiase, Jr.
Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549