Barona Battle of the Badges this Saturday

Left to right, Julie Chavez, Jeremiah Nelson, Gilbert Mendoza, R. J. Donovan team members, then San Diego Chargers guard Louis Vasquez, Olegario Rivas, another R. J. Donovan team member, and friend Vanessa Lopez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Once again, the organizers of Saturday’s Battle of the Badges Boxing Show involving boxers from law enforcement agencies all over the county are working diligently to put on a great show and surpass last year’s attendance numbers. In 2010, a record crowd of 3,000 attended this important fundraiser for the National City Community Youth Athletic Center (CYAC).

The CYAC under the guidance of the Barragan family, along with their patrons, the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Barona Resort and Casino in conjunction with the National Latino Peace Officers Association have certainly come a long way; in their first year, 2003, they had 700 in attendance.


For the youngsters who are smart enough to take advantage of this CYAC facility, it must be getting almost common place to see the important people to megastars coming through their doors. The photos on the wall can attest to the gym’s popularity.

Today it was Louis Vasquez, the 6’5” offensive lineman of the San Diego Chargers stopping. He was there to lend his support to members of the R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility boxing team, last year’s top team in the competition.

On Saturday, their six member team, five of whom are rookies, will be defending the team trophy against boxing teams from all over the county, boxers from the San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Harbor Police, Correction Corporation of America, U.S. Border Patrol, San Diego Probation Department, the California and Sycuan Fire Departments, plus the Military.

When talking with members of the R. J. Donovan boxing team, I was surprised to learn how they were in awe of the youngsters from the gym. One corrections officer told me that she intentionally comes early for her workouts to see the youngsters go through their routines, “It motivates me when I see how hard they work.”

In other words, the real-life role models, some from area Swat teams, and the youngsters feed off each another.

At last year's show, every seat in the place was filled. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Last year’s participants included people with colorful monikers like: Pedro “Iron Man” Martinez and Raul “Showtime” Munoz. The top action match involved heavyweights Frederic “Super Soy Sauce” Sabas of the Sycuan Fire Dept., who was 3-0 in past competitions, going up against Bernardino “El Matador” Soto of the US Border Patrol who was 2-0. Carlos Barragan Jr who announced the bout called it, “Pinoy Pride versus Mexican Pride” and the representative of the Philippines came out victorious.

Juan “Kodiak Express” Prishker went up against Vincent “Dirty” Sanchez who weighed in at 295 lbs. Sergio “Zapata” Roldon of the US Border Patrol showcased a most impressive ring entrance. Tony “Too Smooth” Silva’s entourage was so large he needed to charter a bus to get everyone to the event. Josue “Jalapeno Popper” Pacheco surprised Carlos Elizarraras and registered one of the quickest knockouts on record, just 27 seconds into the first round.

Lauren Kohler (left), of the R. J. Donavan boxing team, is shown delivering a right uppercut to the chin of team member, Chayin Osgood. The 240 pound heavyweight is scheduled to face David Rodriguez in the Battle of the Badges main event. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #9 featured a rematch between heavyweights David “Average Joe” Rodriguez of the San Diego Police Department going up against Enrique “Brawling Bull” Frias of the SD Probation Dept. Since Rodriguez won, he’s now slotted to defend his title against Chayin Osgood, a former champ, who took two years off to play football.

Super-lightweight Lauren Kohler of the R. J. Donovan boxing team (in the far right photo), is shown delivering a playful right uppercut to the chin of team member, Chayin Osgood. The 240 pound heavyweight is scheduled to face David Rodriguez a member of Team Unify in the Battle of the Badges main event. Osgood, who’s named after a science fiction hero in the book, The Golden Sword by Janet E.Morris, has an impressive physique. And yes, he is related to Kassim Osgood, the former Charger who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His brother, a wide receiver and special teams player, was selected All-Pro three times.

Coincidentally, if Chayin Osgood can beat Rodriguez, it will be his third such win in three tries as top heavyweight in the Battle of the Badges competition.


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