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Guns & Hoses VII – Interview with Guns Boxing Champ: Chris Roe

Don Swain – Digital Panda Studio

by Timothy Murphy

For the past six years, the tri-state has come together for one electrifying night; a night of fighting, knockouts, screaming, shouting, and most importantly, charity. 911 Gives Hope is a group of Police Officers, Firefighters, and Paramedics from the tri-state area who have come together for a cause. Their goal is to improve the lives of children in this community who have disabilities. The main event, Guns and Hoses, puts police officers and firefighters on opposing sides of the boxing ring for a night of non-stop action!

Chris Roe of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department has been an active fighter and member of this organization. We were fortunate enough to have Chris answer a few questions about himself and his involvement in Guns and Hoses.

What made you decide to participate in Guns and Hoses?

My reason for participating in Guns and Hoses was personal. I was weighing about 275 pounds and needed a reason to get in shape. So, I teamed up with my neighbor (Mike Booker) who was a prize fighter in England back in the early Seventies. We started training in December of 2008 in my garage. I could have never done this without the support of my coaches and wife (Tara).

How many years have you fought in Guns and Hoses? What is your record?

I fought in Guns and Hoses each year from 2009 until 2012. My first Guns and Hoses match was against Russ Word. Russ beat me by a split decision. I never lost another fight. I re-matched Russ in 2010 and beat him. Then Sugar Ray Leonard came to Evansville in Sept 2010 and I fought Rob (Butterbean) Ralph in an exhibition match to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness and beat him. In 2011, Russ challenged me to a re-match and I beat him again in a split decision. I found out shortly after that fight that Mike Doran wanted to fight me in the 2012 Guns and Hoses. Mike was undefeated and the fight got a lot of hype locally. I ended up beating Mike and Guns and Hoses set a record for attendance.

Any organized boxing/fighting before that?

While training at the Guns and Hoses gym I was asked by the head coach (Gerald Rice) if I would compete at the 2009 Indiana Golden Gloves Tournament. I told Gerald I was nervous because I had never competed before. Gerald reassured me I would do fine. I made it to the semi-finals of the tournament and lost to a fighter out of Terre Haute who went on to win the tournament.

What weight class are you in?

My weight class would be considered heavy weight. I have fought guys while weighing 250 pounds and I’ve dropped as much as 30 pounds to fight Mike Doran which I fought at 219.

What kind of training regimen do you have before a fight?

The training regimen I follow consists of getting my diet right and exercise. The Guns Team trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We would train usually about 2 hours. This consisted of hitting the heavy bag, mitts and sparring. Sparring was most important. A guy needs to get used to being in the ring and getting punched. On my off days I would do interval training. I would start off jogging then after a mile or so I would start sprinting. I would do this for several miles sometimes wearing a weight vest. If your legs aren’t strong they will be the first to go come fight night.

Do you actively participate in any other charity events?

I participate in the Salvation Army Kettle Bell collections every year around Christmas. I also participate every year in a shopping day at Walmart with under privileged kids for Christmas. I have done the event for many years and it’s awesome! I also spend time collecting gifts at the 911 Gives Hope Toy drive.

If you had one inspiring story from your job, what would it be?

I’m inspired every day by the members in the community I serve. While working for the Sheriff’s Office I have been a part of many inspiring events. My job with the Sheriff’s Office is riding the motorcycle with the Traffic Unit. As a part of that unit I have done motorcycle escorts for many soldiers returning home from war. I’ve escorted the Honor Flag. I’ve been a part of several dignitary escorts as well. Each one has a special memory and has inspired me in one way or another. All the above have no better inspiration than when I escorted Kim Booker (Evansville Police Dept), Gerald Rice (Retired Evansville Police Dept/Guns Team Coach), Donnie Neil (German Township Fire) Jeremy Tighe (McCutchanville Fire Dept), and Nathan Schroer (Evansville Police Dept.) to their final resting places. These were members of our community who devoted their lives to helping others. They were all taken to soon but will never be forgotten.

Tell me why the Guns are going to take home the belt this year!

The Guns Team is currently down 4-2 against the Hoses. I think it’s time for us to take back the belt. We have a great group of fighters this year to get that done. It will be nonstop action but at the end of the night, win or lose we all go back to being one great big family and the kids in our community win.

 Guns and Hoses is Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Ford Center. Tickets are available at any ticketmaster location or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

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