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Bravest step into the ring to support wounded vets

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"A lot of the guys wanted to do something for the veterans," said Robert McGuire, president of FDNY Bravest Boxing, a club of city firemen who stage annual boxing matches for charity. "We're donating half the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project."The Washington-based group, which has a branch in Jackson Heights, seeks to aid troops who have been wounded serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. "The Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization - really helpful," McGuire said. McGuire, who retired from the Fire Department after suffering injuries during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Center, said firefighters have a special affinity for veterans. "We lost four members of the (FDNY boxing) team on 9/11 as well as many friends and family members," McGuire said. Friday's event is intended to "do something for the troops we feel took the fight on after 9/11."The event at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. was slated to begin at 8 p.m. Doors were to open at 7 p.m. and a $20 donation was requested. Renowned middleweight Vito Antufurmo and world Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes were scheduled to make special appearances. The guest of honor was to be Ian Lennon, a soldier severely burned in Iraq. Members of the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment, which has endured a half dozen fatal casualties in Iraq, were also invited. McGuire said there would be 12 bouts featuring boxers with varying degrees of experience. "Some of the guys are getting into the ring for the very first time," he said. Among the scheduled Queens pugilists were: Greg McGuinness of Rockaway Beach, with Ladder Co. 102 in Brooklyn; Mike Reno of Douglaston, with Engine Co. 33 in Manhattan; Lenny Triveli of Howard Beach, with Engine Co. 285 in Ozone Park; and Rocco Corrado of Jackson Heights, with Engine Co. 307 in Jackson Heights. Visit www.fdnyboxing.com for more information. Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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