A Highland police officer will climb back into the ring for the 30th annual Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses, which will take place Wednesday, Nov. 23, (Thanksgiving Eve) at 6:30 p.m. at the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis.
HPD officer Nathan Biggs will compete in a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout with against Chris Granda from Rock Community Fire Department in Arnold, Mo.
Biggs also competed in last year’s Guns ‘N Hoses, winning his fight last year with a TKO in the second round over Scott Lilly, a paramedic from St. Louis.
“Last year was a great experience. I used to fight MMA, and this was a good way to do it again, and it goes to a great cause,” said Biggs, 32, a native of Waterloo, joined the Highland Police Department in December 2014 after having served four years with the Carbondale Police Department.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Biggs said he’s ready after competing in the St. Louis Classic Fuji Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament a few weeks ago.
“I took the silver medal in my weight class, and that really jump-started my drive to compete,” he said.
Guns ‘N Hoses pits police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel from Missouri and Illinois against one another to raise money for families of their fallen comrades. Money raised from the event benefits The BackStoppers, a nonprofit organization that assists families of first responders who have died in the line of duty.
“Although Guns ‘N Hoses started small, it has now become a can’t-miss holiday tradition that has raised more than $5.5 million for The BackStoppers and attracts nearly 15,000 fans each year to downtown St. Louis,” said Steve Holley, secretary of the Guns ‘N Hoses Boxing Association. “It is incredible to have the community behind us supporting our fallen heroes. This year we hope to fill every seat in the Scottrade Center as we celebrate this landmark anniversary.”
After his fight last year, Biggs said he was thinking of participating again. But when St. Louis County Police Department officer Blake Snyder, a native of Godfrey, Ill., was shot and killed last month, Biggs knew for sure he had to return. Police said Snyder, 33, was shot on Oct. 6 while responding to a call and later died at a St. Louis hospital. He leaves behind a wife and a 2-year-old son. He had served with the St. Louis County Police Department for four years.
“Officer Snyder of St. Louis County being murdered was my biggest motivation to participate this year. I want to do whatever I can to help his family, as well as the other officers that have been attacked over this past year,” Biggs said.
Tickets, Times & Promotions
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the first 5,000 fans to enter will receive a special promotional item celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event.
“In 1987, a vision to create an event that supported the area’s first responders who died or were injured in the line of duty became a reality with Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses,” said David Stokes, president of the Guns ‘N Hoses Boxing Association. “For 30 years, Guns ‘N Hoses has allowed The BackStoppers to serve families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.”
Guns ‘N Hoses will feature 15 three-round bouts of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) matches between police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel from Missouri and Illinois. Both male and female fighters are scheduled. Guns ‘N Hoses will also include a new opening ceremony this year before the opening bell.
This year’s event will feature a “retro” theme and fans are encouraged to wear their best 80s-style clothes and accessories. Guns ‘N Hoses will also be streamed online for the first time in its history on its website stlgunsnhoses.com. There will be no cost to watch the event live online.
Ticket prices for the are $35 and $15, and are available by calling Tom Burgoon of St. Louis City at (314) 503-4458; Mark O’Brien of the St. Louis City Police Department at (314) 691-1377; Ed Fingers of the St. Louis County Police Department at (314) 713-6031; or Chief Greg Brown of Eureka Fire Protection District at 636-262-2400. Tickets are available at all Hair Saloon locations.
More info online