Punch by punch, Nick LaRose is getting ready for a big fight.

“It’s stress relief,” LaRose said of boxing. “Even if you just have a simple bad day at work, come out, hit the bag, spar with a couple of the guys and just have fun with it.”

LaRose and the group at the Watertown Boxing Club are working out in preparation for Saturday’s fight night. But when the group is not in the ring, they serve as first responders and law enforcement.

What You Need To Know

  • The Watertown Area Boxing Club has a new home in back of the old Stream Call Center

  • The club will host its first event, "Battle of the Badges 2," Saturday at Jefferson Community College

  • The fights will benefit both the family of a local sheriff’s deputy and the Northern New York K-9 Foundation

“First responders and law enforcement, they are always giving their all for everyone else,” LaRose said.

That includes Nick, who serves as a volunteer with the Sackets Harbor Fire Department and is just one of numerous first responders and law enforcement officers across the state to temporarily trade in their uniform for gloves and shorts Saturday for the Boxing Club’s “Battle of the Badges 2.”

The event starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, with doors opening at 5. Tickets are available at this link.

It’s the brain child of Nick’s coach Johnny Pepe.

“It’s very competitive for bragging rights as far as the guys competing. We’re looking forward to having a great show,” Pepe said.

It goes beyond bragging rights: Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the family of a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy who has a daughter battling a rare form of cancer.

“We want to give back to the community, and this is our part of giving back,” Pepe said. “These people are heroes, and the way they come forward to be part of our community and part of this event, it’s nice to give back to them.”

The night will also benefit the Northern New York K-9 Foundation.