Battle Of The Badges: Real Boxer Disqualified For Obscene Gesture

EL PASO, Texas - A not-so-gracious competitor in Friday's Battle of the Badges -- a charity boxing tournament pitting firefighters against police officers -- doesn't have a badge.

Jesus Cervantes, who boxed for the El Paso Fire Department team, knocked down his opponent, and seemingly hovered over him for a few seconds until the referee stepped in. Then, Cervantes made an obscene gesture twice. He was disqualified for the gesture.

The event is organized by the local police officer and firefighters associations.

Some people who saw the video found Cervantes' actions offensive.

"Just the attitude is not like that of a sportsman. So, even if you forget about the fact that it was a charity event and that there were families and children around, even if you forget about that, I would say that's unacceptable," said one man.

ABC-7 discovered Cervantes is not a firefighter. According to event organizers, he's a local boxer who trains at a local gym.

"Unsportsmanlike conduct is not tolerated. In the heat of battle, things happen. We're going to have to reevaluate who is allowed to participate in the events, since it is such an important nature -- it helps the charity," said Joe Telles, the president of the El Paso Association of Fire Fighters Local 51.

Organizers said because they have to match weight classes and some officers and firefighters back out of the match, they get local boxing associations and agencies to help them fill the spots.

Telles said that besides weight class, there is no other requirement to participate. "In hindsight, we need to have a more stringent screening process," he said.

The man opposite Cervantes in the fight, wearing a police team shirt, is not an El Paso Police officer either. The fire association said he's a detention officer at La Tuna, but a record systems officer at the prison said the man fighting Cervantes does not work at La Tuna.

The tournament raises money for the local Red Cross and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics, though totals for Friday's event have not been calculated, Telles said.

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