'Warrior 3-Year-Old' Tulsa Firefighter's Inspiration To Fight For Charity
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police are facing off against firefighters in The Smoke N' Guns fighting event. It's a fight to raise money for charity where their only weapons are their fists.
One Tulsa Firefighter almost didn't make it to the fight after getting injured on the job, but Kyle Younger's inspiration helped him make it to the ring.
After getting injured during an apartment fire two weeks ago, Younger thought it'd keep him from competing at the Cox Business Center Saturday night, but he's determined to fight for a cause other than himself.
"At 40 it's not as easy as it used to be, 41 now, so it was really tough to get in there and keep motivated," Younger said.
He's training for the fight of his life; not for himself, but for a 3-year-old boy, a fellow firefighter's son.
"He's a great little boy and he's always happy and he's a warrior man," Younger said.
Cooper was born with a rare disease and only has half a heart. Doctors said he had no chance of surviving.
"He came out of the womb fighting and he's been fighting ever since, and he's going to continue fighting," said Younger.
Cooper's had two major surgeries and the third is just months away.
"Our brotherhood is very rich and deep, and seeing a brother in need, we all take the call, and this was my call, is to help cooper and raise the money," Younger said.
He's been fundraising and training for months, selling 'Fighting for Cooper' t-shirts, which feature both with boxing gloves on the back.
However, Younger almost had to call it quits when he hurt his leg at a deadly April 11th fire at the Apache Manor Apartments.
“I was really worried I wouldn't be able to perform. I got real lucky and it wasn't as bad as we were expecting. I'm not 100 percent, but close enough," he said. “Every day is a struggle for him, and he has struggles ahead, so that's the inspiration for me. He's a warrior so I want to be him."
After completing the final weigh-in, the next stop is the main event, where every punch will be thrown with Cooper in mind.
The fights for the Smoke N' Guns event starts at 7:00 Saturday night.
If the firefighters win, the majority of the proceeds will go to the burn camp; if police win it will go to the Special Olympics.
Regardless, Younger plans to keep fighting in his mission of raising money for Cooper.