Police Brutality

When Chris Normandin steps in the ring Saturday night at Dodge Theatre, the gloves are coming off -- figuratively, of course. The SuperCop Boxing Exhibition might be a charity event, but once the bell sounds the first bout, Normandin, a 28-year-old Phoenix police officer who works out of the Squaw Peak Precinct, will be in a zone we won't want any part of.

"I know it's for charity, but the people are paying to be entertained," says Normandin, an amateur who's boxed for two years with a 1-1 record ("I lost a decision I shouldn't have," he insists). "Don't get me wrong. I don't want to hurt anyone, but I'm definitely gonna throw some punches."

Sure thing, officer. We won't get in the way. Nearly 40 other local Five-O in four weight classes -- lightweight (165 pounds and under), middleweight (up to 185), light heavyweight (up to 205), and heavyweight (205 and over) -- will be gunning for a TKO as well. Each fight will consist of three one-minute rounds. The boxers will use well-padded 18-ounce gloves and wear headgear.

"In the 10 years we've been doing this, we've never had more than a bloody nose," says Mike Drevline, SuperCop spokesman. "This is really light-hearted. It's just a way for these amateur boxers to have a good time and raise some money." Tell that to Normandin, a supposed lightweight (we didn't call him that!), who'll play football with a Phoenix PD team in the afternoon before making his way to the Dodge in the early evening.

"Football's just a warm-up," he warns. All proceeds from the exhibition benefit the 100 Club of Arizona, which provides financial assistance to families of fallen officers; the Citizens for National Law Enforcement, which supplies non-lethal force training for sworn law officers around the country; and 16 other civil service charities.

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Joe Watson