FDNY to Take on Ireland at Thrilla in Camilla

 FDNY to Take on Ireland at Thrilla in Camilla

By Katie McFadden

It’s ‘bout to go down at St. Camillus. FDNY Boxing is taking on Ireland’s national police team, Garda Siochana, in the ring at the 7th Annual Thrilla in Camilla this Friday, June 30.

The bouts are set, and the boxers have been training for the moment we’ve all been waiting for on Friday. Twelve matches will take place under the lights at St. Camillus’ lot at 185 Beach 99th Street. And while the competition will be fun and fierce, it’s all for a good cause as proceeds benefit the Tunnel to Towers Foundation (T2T).

The doors open at 6 p.m., the Emerald Society Bagpipe band starts things off with a set at 7 p.m.  and the first match begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. The fighting fun begins with an FDNY/ MTA grudge match between Lee Wong of FDNY Engine Co. 152 and Issa Abed of the MTA. Then, the ladies take to the ring with the second event being a female flyweight match between Zinnat Fersous of Bout B.C. and Eva Byrne of the Irish Garda. The FDNY takes on Ireland in bout three, a light heavyweight matchup between Adrian Maldonado of Engine 257 and Eoin O’Connor of the Garda. The next bout is a middleweight matchup between Jeffrey Barreau of Engine 218 and Eoin O’Neill of the Garda. In bout five, James Gennari of Ladder 124 faces Jack McHugh in a light heavyweight match. They’re followed by a middleweight matchup of Fabian Zavala of Ladder 6 vs. Senan Morris.

After the first six fights, the action will break for a very important intermission as Bobby McGuire of FDNY Boxing will present Frank Siller of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation with a check for the charity. The fundraising goal this year is $40,000. Last year, the event raised $30,000 for Tunnel to Towers. T2T has been Thrilla’s main charity as of late for several reasons. “Not only do they give back to veterans, they give back to first responders,” McGuire said. “They’re just a well-rounded organization that really takes care of our veterans and first responders and they recently started a program to get veterans who are homeless off the streets, which is big because it’s becoming quite a problem with way too many homeless veterans on the street.”

Money is raised for the charity through tickets, t-shirt sales, a 50/50 raffle and through sponsorships. Among some of the biggest sponsors this year are The Wharf, which sponsored not once, but twice, and Bungalow Bar, as well as Apos Health, Queens Board of Business Agents, Local 79, Wicked Monk, Kettle Black, Ho Bra, UFA, Metronet Realty and several big beer companies, which all provided a gold sponsorship. Some contributed a silver sponsorship like In Good Company Hospitality, Harbor Light, Bagel Barista Station, and the Graybeards, and many other local businesses contributed to a bronze sponsorship. “A lot of donations from local business and groups make this such a success,” McGuire said. “Really all of Rockaway gets involved and really make it possible.”

After that very important interruption of handing over the donations to T2T, the action returns to the ring as George Kantzian takes on Dan Hoolahan of the Garda in a heavyweight seventh bout. In bout eight, Danny Quinn of Ladder 9 faces Hugh O’Connor of the Garda. Bout nine brings the females back, this time with Nicole Malpeso of Engine 76 taking on Kaci Rock of the Garda in a welterweight matchup. In bout 10, Sean Dillon of Engine 283 faces Paul Corcoran. Following bout 10, the 50/50 raffle will be drawn. Then the action wraps up with Shane Dorgan taking on Freddie Almonte of Victory Boxing in a light heavyweight bout, and finally the big grudge match of the night will be between Vinny “the Hulk” Hogan of Engine 82 and John “the Donkey” Doyle of Ladder 136.

The event will have food for sale including sausage and peppers, burgers, two hot dogs, and grilled chicken sandwiches all for $5 each, plus cold beverages for sale, ice cream, coffee and donuts. The fun continues at Whit’s End on Beach 97th for the Black n Blue After Party.

After a day of recovery, FDNY Boxing will show good sportsmanship and hospitality to Garda Siochana by taking them out for a beach day and a stop at The Wharf and Bungalow Bar.

Tickets for Thrilla in Camilla are $30 for general admission, $50 for ringside with a guaranteed seat or $100 for the VIP seats with table seating. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, but advanced tickets are encouraged. They can be purchased at FDNYBoxing.org

In addition to the charitable aspect, events like Thrilla in Camilla help keep FDNY Boxing afloat. “A big reason we do this is the charity, for one,” McGuire said. “Giving back is in a fireman’s DNA, plus all of these guys train for these matches on their own time. We get no financial support, we keep ourselves afloat by having these matches and selling t-shirts.”

If you can’t make this one and are looking to take a trip to Ireland, on August 25, FDNY Boxing will once again face Garda Siochana in Dublin. Tickets for that event will be on Eventbrite but information about a trip package can be found at FDNYBoxing.org

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