Whitfield Lawman Wins Final Boxing Match At Charity Event

Thursday, January 13, 2022 - by Mitch Talley, Whitfield County Director of Communications

A boxing career stretching back more than 30 years recently came to a triumphant conclusion at a charity event.

Deputy Shawn Giles – a 20-year veteran with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office and owner of a fight facility called The Pit in Dalton - won what he’s calling his final match ever during the 12th annual  Guns & Hoses, A Battle of the Badges held at Camp Jordan Arena in East Ridge on Nov. 19.

The amateur boxing event matches law enforcement officers against firefighters from the area to raise money for the YMCA’s Youth Community Action Program.

Deputy Giles won his match at the fund-raiser in 2019, watched as last year’s event was canceled because of the pandemic, and then returned for a farewell match in 2021 at age 49 in “way better” condition, he said.

“I trained somewhat in 2019,” he said, “but this time I knew it was going to be my last match ever, so I really wanted to give it everything I got.
I woke up at 4 o’clock every morning and trained until it was time to come to work at the sheriff’s office, and then I would also train a little bit at the end of the night. I’d generally start at four in the morning and get home at 11 at night between both jobs and the training.”

That regimen, he said, included “lots of sparring, lots of bag work, lots of running – cardio and conditioning” for “a good  month and a half, two months.”

Deputy Giles, who weighed in at 170 pounds, was paired with a much larger opponent, a 240-pound firefighter from Sequatchie County.

“Anytime you’re facing a bigger guy, you’ve got a lot stacked against you,” Deputy Giles said. “They do have more power, and it’s easier to wear your opponent down when you’re bigger with all the pressure.  That being said, I had a big advantage with speed on my side and I knew that, so that’s what I focused on in my training. He wasn’t gonna be in better shape than me, and he definitely wasn’t gonna be as fast as me. I always try to go in with a game plan and I did, and my game plan worked out perfect.”

Deputy Giles wound up winning each of the three rounds by identical 10-9 scores for a 30-27 victory.

The veteran lawman says he appreciates the strong support from his co-workers at the Sheriff’s Office and his family and friends from The Pit, along with his two sons, 16-year-old Benjamin and 13-year-old Preston - “my two biggest supporters.”

“The majority of the people that were there were for Shawn this time,” Deputy Giles said, “to sort of watch me finish out my career. I had people who had come to my first fight when I was 18 years old who told me, we started with you, we’re gonna finish with you. So that was incredible. Co-workers, people that I used to train with, people that used to watch me fight, people I went to school with. I had one guy stop me on the street and say, I came to your first one – I watched you when we were kids in high school, and I’m coming to this one. I could not believe it; it blew me away. So this community has been super supportive!”

Since it was launched in 2009, Chattanooga’s Guns and Hoses, A Battle of the Badges has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Forgotten Child Fund and YMCA’s Youth Community Action Program.

The Forgotten Child Fund is a non-profit charitable organization sponsored by the Chattanooga Police and Fire departments and provides presents and hot meals at Christmastime for struggling families. YMCA Youth Community Action Program is an early intervention and prevention program for middle school aged youth in Hamilton and Bradley counties.

While Deputy Giles is retiring as a competitor in the boxing ring, he’s far from ready to just sit in a rocking chair.

“It was fun to fight, and I’ll miss that kind of atmosphere,” he said. “But I will continue to run The Pit. I’ve got a bunch of great fighters there, and I also have a  lot of people that want to be fit and come down and learn how to box, kick box, and they love it.”

Deputy Giles still has his own goals, too. “I’ll be competing in a fitness physique show – not quite bodybuilding but a side track of that,” he said. “That’s my new venture; I had to make a new goal for myself. I’ll be competing in that. It’s similar to bodybuilding but I’m just not built for that big-guy bodybuilding, but this is for the slimmer, more well-cut guys that don’t want to be super big like that.”

He says he’ll never retire from some kind of competition. “I just love competition in any manner,” he said. “I started boxing when I was young at 12 years old, and I’ve not looked back. Any competition I can get into, I try to jump in with both feet.”

He won’t be alone. Deputy Giles says his sister, Angel, and his son, Preston, will be competing in the fitness physique, “so it’ll be like a big family thing.”

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