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Area police, firefighters match-up in boxing ring for autism awareness

Quick hands, feet, heart and endurance is a challenge Aaron Bixby can't wait to face.

"This is really probably one of the hardest things I've ever done," he said.

He's a lieutenant with the Cudahy Fire Department and come Saturday, you can call him, "Mr. Incredible," he said. "That's my name."

Bixby is one of 24 fighters set to duke it out in the Battle of the Badges boxing bout. The event pits firefighters against police, who represent four area counties.

"Even though we're going to be trying to take each others heads off, its actually not going to happen," Bixby said.

"To do this something I've never done before, going three rounds with a boxer, potentially getting hit in the face," said Kenosha police officer Tanya Kennedy. "It's going to be interesting, but it will be fun though."

Kennedy and others have trained for months to get ready. Brother in blue James Kelley is grateful for the support.

"My youngest son Logan has autism," said Kelley.

Proceeds from the event support autism programs at the Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin.

Kelley, a Mount Pleasant police officer, said the fight fundraiser started last year from a simple bet.

"We went from a $250 bet to $27,328," he said of last year's fundraising total. "A lot of people see kids or adults with autism and they don't understand, know how to approach or deal with them, so this is a way to get the word out."

It's a rewarding physical test with bragging rights on the line. The badge with the most wins will hold on to the traveling championship belt.

The boxing Battle of the Badges will be this Saturday, September 26 at Horlick High School in Racine. Doors open at 3 p.m., with the first fight at 5 p.m. Show your support for the cause by getting more information at here.

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