Unsanctioned boxers slug it out in Washington Square Park in shocking scene
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Washington Square Park looked more like Madison Square Garden recently, as unsanctioned boxers duked it out in underground fights against the backdrop of the space’s famous arch, wild videos show.
Clips posted Tuesday on Instagram show at least three raucous nighttime bouts playing out in the Greenwich Village park, where cops have clashed with revelers over a newly-enacted 10 p.m. weekend curfew.
The park pugilists touch gloves before each fight and square off under the watchful eye of a referee, but appear to wear little in the way of protective gear and are ringed only by the dozens of hollering spectators, who at points have to back away from the fray, the videos show.
Some of the clips are posted to the account of @1g5drama, described in a caption as the referee.
Others are posted by @theweoutsidecrew, described in its profile as throwing “Pop up parties in NYC” and “Spreading positivity through music & social justice.”
The fight footage was posted early Tuesday to the accounts’ Stories, which automatically delete uploads after 24 hours.
One post refers to the bout it features as going down “last night,” suggesting it took place late Monday.
A third user with the handle @callshaman — tagged as one of the brawlers — wrote about the fights in a Tuesday post to his Story.
“The we outside crew hosted an event last night,” the post read in part. “Part of it consisting of ‘Boxing’ one of the healthiest ways to release male testosterone.
“Regardless, we partied right afterwards,” the post continued. “All together as a community. There was no violence or aggression, it was a family vibe. we picked up after ourselves and no police presence. This is what our community looks like.”
A spokeswoman for the city Parks Department said that no permits were issued for the fights.
But the agency could not immediately clarify whether boxing matches could be permitted in parks at all.
Instagram messages seeking comment from the three accounts weren’t immediately returned Wednesday.
Late last month, locals told The Post that the park has recently become a magnet for drug addicts, while booze-fueled parties around the fountain rage on at all hours of the night.
In response, the NYPD instituted a 10 p.m. curfew for the park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
But when cops clad in riot gear tried to enforce the early shutdown last Saturday, defiant parkgoers fought back, with some throwing glass bottles at officers.
In the ensuing scuffle, 23 revelers were arrested and eight cops were injured, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who discussed the clash during a pair of TV interviews Wednesday morning.
“Many of them, in fact probably most of them, have been arrested multiple times over the last year,” Shea told WPIX, referring to the 23 arrestees and noting that “not one lives in that community.
“The Parks Department has tried to enforce and close the park — which is their job, by the way — on multiple occasions and they’ve come under fire and had bottles thrown at them,” the top cop continued. “So they came to other city agencies, including the police department, and said, ‘We need your help.’”
Appearing separately on NY1, Shea defended his officers’ actions on Saturday night.
“When those bottles are hitting the ground and breaking, that’s the same park that the kids are playing in the next day,” he said. “So I actually think the officers used quite a bit of restraint.”
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