Romney gets in the ring with Holyfield
One is a former world boxing champion, the other a former presidential candidate.
And for two rounds Evander Holyfield used Mitt Romney as a punching bag on Friday at Rail Event Center in Salt Lake.
But rather than a real fight, which given the difference in body shape and fitness Holyfield would have no contest in, this boxing bout was all in the name of charity.
The 68-year-old Romney and the 52-year-old Holyfield squared off in the lighthearted spectacle that raised $1 million for Charity Vision, an organization that provides eye operations.
The fight didn’t have the hype of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega showdown but it did reach its goal of raising enough money to enable thousands of blind people to see again.
“Tonight @CharityVision raised $1 million which will help 40,000 people have their sight restored,” Romney tweeted after the fight.
Romney entered the ring wearing a red silk robe and red boxing trunks to Gloria Gaynor's not-that-threatening disco anthem I Will Survive.
Romney used the moniker Stormin’ Mormon, weighed in the day before at 81kg while The Real Deal Holyfield had an 27kg advantage.
Romney was joined initially in the ring by his wife, Ann, who has been active with her own charitable activities, including raising funds for multiple sclerosis, a disease which she has lived with for over 15 years.
The 2012 presidential nominee spent most of his time trying to duck the light punches coming from Holyfield.
Soon the running came to a stop. Romney’s corner threw in the towel after the second round but not before Holyfield had stumbled to the canvas earlier in the bout. But that was his only stumble.
“He’s the oldest person I have ever fought,” Holyfield told CNN.
Many people wondered what Romney was doing getting into the ring with Holyfield, who once had a piece of his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson.
Romney said at times politics can be more cutthroat than boxing.
“The good news is that Evander Holyfield always hits above the belt, and sometimes in politics that isn’t the way things are done,” Romney told CNN.