VIDEO: Local Law Enforcement Fights for Hope

The 18th annual Fight for Hope includes nine hard-fought battles between the Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. County Sheriff's Department to support the fight against cancer.

Leo Vasquez of the Los Angeles Police Department's Communications Division stepped to the center of the ring to meet Brandon Manning, a corrections officers with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department's Central Jail.

Vasquez extended his fists, offering his opponent a chance to touch gloves before the match began. Manning, feeling no such civility, batted Vasquez's gloves away. He was ready to brawl.

The competition was intense inside the squared-circle at Montebello's Quiet Cannon banquet hall on Friday evening as LAPD officers traded blows with their LASD counterparts.

Through nine bouts, the officers and deputies traded hooks and uppercuts while their corner men called for them to land finishing blows.

The ferocity of the brawling within the ring belied the altruistic intentions of the fighters—who, more than pride or glory, were fighting for hope.

Friday night's bouts were held on the occasion of the 18th annual Fight for Life, a charity event which raises funds for City of Hope, a Duarte-based Cancer research and intensive care center.

The event was first held in November of 1994, shortly after Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies met a young boy with cancer while on patrol in the East Los Angeles area. 

The officers befriended the young boy, who eventually succumbed to the disease.

Since then, the Sheriff's Department deputies have battled in the ring with LAPD officers to raise funds for cancer related care and research.

The bout between Vasquez and Manning--the third time the two fighters had met in the ring--ended with Vasquez raising his fist in victory after a judge's decision.

It was one of seven LAPD victories on the evening.

Later in the evening, 215-pounders Alex Perez, of LAPD's Rampart Division, and undefeated LASD Inmate Receptioner Chris Barrios touched gloves in what was promised to be the fight of the evening.

The ring rumbled under the weight of the two prodigious fighters, with Barrios gradually taking control of the bout.

At the end of the bout, Barrios retained his undefeated status, but it was both he and Perez who earned "fight of the night" honors. Despite the intensity of the match, both men smiled as they posed for portraits in the center of ring, knowing they'd traded punches for a cause much greater than their rankings and record.


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