Mitt Romney is stepping into the ring again. Only this time, the gloves will be on — boxing gloves, that is.
Yup, the former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential candidate has agreed to take part in a boxing match against Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, the former heavyweight champ of the world, to raise cash for charity. The marquee event will take place on May 15 in Salt Lake City.
“It will either be a very short fight or I will be knocked unconscious,” Romney joked with The Salt Lake Tribune. “It won’t be much of a fight. We’ll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit.”
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Light touch or not, this should be interesting. Holyfield won a bronze medal for boxing in the 1984 Olympic Games. He first took the title of heavyweight champ in 1990 and went on to defend it four times. He has a lifetime professional boxing record of 44-10-2 – including 29 wins by knockout. (He also famously had part of his ear taken off by Mike Tyson in their 1997 bout, for what that’s worth.) He officially retired from the sport last year but appeared in Champs, a boxing documentary released this year.
Here’s how they match up: Holyfield is 52 years old, 6’2” tall and weighs 226 pounds. His reach is 78 inches. Romney is 68 years old, 6’2” tall and weighs 185. His reach is “unknown,” as Fox News put it.
The event will raise money for Charity Vision, a humanitarian group founded some 20 years ago by Bill Jackson, a retired Salt Lake City physician. The group partners with medical supply companies to donate surgical equipment to doctors in impoverished communities around the globe. Romney is a friend of Jackson’s.
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Organizers hope to attract as much as $250,000 per corporate sponsor, The Tribune reported — with some actual boxing to occur between professional prize fighters as well. “We just thought it would be a lot better to provide this kind of entertainment rather than just have dinner and listen to speakers,” Romney said. The black-tie event is just two months away — so someone needs to hit the gym.
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