"I went to the Embassy [Hall in North Bergen] and Madison Square Garden with my father and just loved boxing," Indri said. "I always loved boxing since I was about 10 or 11. I remember seeing all the old-timers and wondering what it was like to be a champion like the guys I saw."
However, it didn't take long for Indri to realize that most boxers weren't exactly treated like champions when it came to finances and medical insurance.
"A lot of the guys are banged up and some become destitute," said Indri, who has been a veteran of the West New York Police Department for the last 22 years, now serving as a lieutenant. "I wanted to be able to do something to help the old boxers."
About eight years ago, Indri read about the Retired Boxers Foundation that was being started by former contender Alex Ramos in California. Indri contacted Ramos and asked if there was anything he could do to help the cause.
"The boxers don't have the resources that they should, in terms of medical insurance, in terms of coverage," Indri said. "We do whatever we can. No request is too small."
So if a retired boxer needs help securing a pair of eyeglasses, Indri is hard at work, making sure he can be helped. If a doctor's appointment is needed, Indri is there, taking the fighter to the necessary rounds.
What started as a passing interest has evolved into a labor of love. Indri, now the East Coast coordinator for the Retired Boxers Foundation, spends countless hours helping those who were once involved in the sport he adores and are now a lot less fortunate than he is.
For the fifth straight year, Indri is holding a special comedy night, at the Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Heights, with all proceeds of the evening going to the Retired Boxers Foundation.
The event will take place on Friday, Aug. 10, beginning at 9:30 p.m., at Bananas, which is located inside the Holiday Inn Hotel on Route 17.
Indri said that there will be a host of comedians on hand performing, thanks to the dedicated owners of Bananas, namely Harlan and Arlene Jameson, who provide the club and the comedians for the fundraiser.
"They read about what I do in a local paper and they basically reached out to me to see if they could help," Indri said. "This is the fifth year they're donating the club, with all of the proceeds of the night going to the foundation. They're good boxing fans."
The night also brings a litany of boxing celebrities to lend a hand to the cause. This year, legends like ,b>Emile Griffith and Lou Savarese are expected to attend, along with Tracey Patterson. There could be other unexpected guests as well.
Griffith, the former Weehawken and Jersey City resident who was a six-time world champion in both the middleweight and welterweight divisions, has also fallen on some hard times of late and suffers slightly from pugilistic dementia or "punch-drunk syndrome."
But Griffith, who was a regular at the old Jack Miller's Pub in Jersey City during the 1970s and '80s, has given a commitment to be there for the other retired boxers.
"The boxers really come out and show their support," said Indri, who also writes a boxing column for a few local papers and websites. "It's a good night for everyone."
Tickets for the show are priced at $20, which is relatively cheap, considering the level of comedians that will appear. For an additional $20, you can purchase a boxing glove and have the retired boxers sign it.
"It's just a little thing we do," Indri said. "If we can raise a few dollars and send it to the Foundation, then we've done something. We'd love to be able to get more support from the boxing community. We're sincere in what we do."
But the dedicated boxing people are a dying breed, like Indri's good friend, Paul Venti, the Jersey City native who ran Ring 25 for years. Venti died earlier this year.
"He was a real sincere guy," Indri said of Venti. "Boxing lost a great friend when Paul passed away. He dedicated his whole life to helping others in boxing and tried so hard to help others."
Indri is trying to carry that torch.
"When you give, you get more back," Indri said. "That's the way I feel. It makes me a better person. I've been real lucky with that and working with the RBF. It's a sport that I love. I think everyone who helps wants to help because they love boxing."
If anyone is interested in purchasing tickets for the RBF Comedy Club Night on August 10, please contact Indri at (201) 741-4994 or via e-mail at RBFNJMike@aol.com. The tickets are $20 and they are tax deductible.