Ousted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate to take shot in
boxing ring to raise money for autism

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BY Simone Weichselbaum

Tuesday, May 4th 2010, 4:00 AM

This time, his fighting skills are going to good use.

Disgraced ex-state Sen. Hiram Monserrate has agreed to climb into the ring to raise money for kids with autism.

It's a subject that hits home: His teen son is autistic.

"I hope to become a leaner and nicer Hiram because of this," said the Queens pol, who was booted from Albany in February by fellow pols after he was found guilty of beating girlfriend Karla Giraldo.

"I am happy to donate my name and my body to help the kids," said the burly Democrat.

His hoped-for opponent is state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, the Manhattan Democrat who led the charge to oust him.

"I am not looking to be knocked down again. It would be an honor for me if Eric would join me in the ring," Monserrate said in between rounds of sparring at BCBA a Long Island gym.

"Let's put on a good show. Let's raise money for the kids," he said.

Schneiderman, who is running for state attorney general, wants no part of the Nov. 2 2 bout - even if it's for a good cause.

"I've watched the video of him assaulting Karla Giraldo enough times. I don't have any interest in watching him hit anyone else - including me.

"This is a guy who battered a woman. I am not going to a shooting competition with the Son of Sam, either."

Monserrate is working with a group called Fight for Charity, which will reveal his actual challenger this month.

The pudgy pugilist said yesterday he has to lose 40 pounds to safely qualify for the super-heavyweight class, which features fighters over 201 pounds.

"I gained 30 to 40 pounds during that stressful period in my life. I'm looking to lose that now," he said yesterday between throwing punches at trainer Ray Bettinelli at his Long Island boxing academy in Lindenhurst.

For those who'd like to see Monserrate take a few punches, tickets go on sale online May 25 for the charity bout at LIFightforCharity.com.

Proceeds go to several groups that help kids with special needs: the Genesis School , Long Island Community Chest and Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Inc.