50 THE COURIER SUN • APRIL 18, 2013 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.couriersun.com s sports KA-POW! BOXING AT RESORTS WORLD Battle for your boro on the court BY MELISSA CHAN email@example.com Grab your racket and volley up some borough pride. The inaugural Battle of the Boroughs Tennis Challenge is coming to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on May 11. Hosted by USTA Eastern, the new tournament calls for tennis aces to represent their boroughs and be the last team standing in the citywide competition at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on June 15. Teams can register for a slot at http://eastern.usta. com/boroughs for $20 per player. There can be up to 10 members on a team. Each player must be at least 19 years old. Proceeds will benefit City Parks Foundation, which gives free tennis lessons to children at 40 parks citywide. The winning team will receive a trophy, but all participants will be given t-shirts, snacks and two free rounds of tennis. Photo Courtesy USTA Eastern The Battle of the Boroughs Tennis Challenge is coming to Queens on May 11. COMEBACK Firefi ghter makes way back to boxing for a cause BY TERENCE M. CULLEN firstname.lastname@example.org Jack Kirrane took a five-year break from the FDNY’s Bravest Boxing team. From 2007 to 2012, the Queens-born firefighter focused on being a father and doing his normal duty at Ladder 38 in Harlem. Over the last year, however, Kirrane, 37, has been staging a comeback to the sport he started in as a kid growing up in Douglaston. “It’s actually probably the best it’s been so far,” Kirrane said of his fighting and conditioning. “Now, being older, I stick more to my training regimen, instead of before when I was younger.” Kirrane, who joined Bravest Boxing 10 years ago, faced off against John Butler of the London Metro Police Department in the latest installment of the “Battle of the Badges” on Friday, April 12 at Resorts World Casino New York City. Kirrane and Butler, both fighting with a similar orthodox style in the 178 master class, battled for all three of their two-minute rounds. When Kirrane swung, Butler swung. Butler threw a right, Kirrane, expectedly, blocked. Facing off against a style similar to his own, Kirrane said was “fun when you win. That style can be very punishing at the other end too.” In the end, the referees deemed Kirrane the winner, giving him a 5-0 record against the Brits, making it three victories stateside; two across the pond. It was, Kirrane said, a good way to continue his record since coming back last year: 3-0. Aside from meeting with teammates every Tuesday and Thursday to spar in Brooklyn, Kirrane, like many other firefighters, has to train on his own free time – something that’s a precious commodity. Because cardio is more important than weight lifting when getting ready for a fight, Kirrane said he’s mapped out a three-and-a-half mile course to run around his Nassau neighborhood. When he’s off, taking care of his children, he will normally put them in a double stroller and bring them along. “It’s very difficult to find the time to train. Especially when you’re getting close to a fight, you’ve got to train more.” Spending the first 33 years of his life in Queens, Kirrane and his brother were introduced to boxing at a young age by their father, who was a member of the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. The brothers Kirrane, now both firefighters, trained in the club’s Saturday morning youth program. But what Kirrane said drove him to shake the rust off relatively quickly was the cause Bravest Boxing fights for. All monies raised at the April 12 fight, which featured six other men’s bouts and two women’s, went to Building Homes for Heroes, which builds houses for disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Along with this charity, Bravest Boxing in the past has helped other veterans’ charities such as Wounded Warriors. “Whenever we’re fighting over here it’s for charity,” he said. “It’s definitely very rewarding when you’re boxing for charity. It training and fighting makes it a lot easier when you’re doing it for a good cause.” Firefi ghter Jack Kirrane (right) during his April 12 bout against the London Metro Police Department.
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