Eighteen boxers faced off in nine bouts to raise almost $80,000 for three charities during the Long Island Fight for Charity Nov. 20 at the Hilton in Melville.
Nearly 1,000 supporters packed the venue for the 14th annual event that has raised $1.1 million for local charities, including the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Inc. (FREE), the Long Island Community Chest and The Genesis School. Fighters young and old duked it out — with all declared winners.
“When I fought back in 2009, I was the oldest boxer there, and this year I’m the oldest person to do it again,” said Gregg Aramanda, 61, from G.E. Aviation, adding that he’s since had knee surgery and lost 100 pounds. “My wife is about ready to put her foot down. When I told them I was doing it again, everyone in my family was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
The matchups grouped LI business community members together by weight and gender. Each bout had one, two or three rounds.
Boxers came out ready to fight and entered the ring swinging with help from trainers from the Westbury Boxing Club, UFC Gym Farmingdale, Heavy Hitters Boxing, AVM Boxing Gym and the Glen Cove Boxing Club. The ballroom of the Hilton was overflowing all night with people of all ages supporting their friends and family inside and outside of the ring.
“My father, Ed Parry, is fighting. This is my first time here,” said Joe Perry, 24, of Lynbrook. “He could probably whoop my a** right now. We’re close with a family who had a tough-go with cancer, so he’s trying to raise some money for a cure.”
The event was founded by Matt Siler, Jeff Cohen and Jamie Austin in 2003 and this year’s fundraiser was hosted by Sal Ferro from Alure Home Improvements and Sid Farooqi, who has been heard announcing at various sporting events for Hofstra University, the Long Island Mets and ESPN 3.
Judges included Josh and Victoria Schneps, co-publishers of the Long Island Press, Angela Anton from Anton Media Group, chef Michael Newman from Hilton Long Island, sports anchor Jamie Stuart from News 12 Long Island, Tom Killeen, P.C., Paul Salerno, publisher Peter Sloggatt of the Long Islander News, Ted Lindner of WBAB and Vito Antuofermo, former undisputed World Middleweight Champion.
For more information about the Long Island Fight for Charity, or information on how to sign up next year or sponsor, visit lifightforcharity.org