Mitt Romney is getting back in the ring – literally, this time.
The Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee is fighting five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield in Salt Lake City Friday night. Really.
OK, it’s a benefit for Charity Vision, which fights blindness in developing countries. Mr. Romney decided to do the event after visiting India and seeing the need first hand, which he wrote about. One of Romney’s sons, Josh, is president of Charity Vision and hopes the boxing match with Holyfield will raise $1 million.
The fight will go three rounds, at most. Thursday night was the weigh-in. Romney came in at 179 pounds, and Mr. Holyfield at 236. Romney says he’s been preparing for weeks.
"You've heard my critics say that I'm out of touch. That I'm stiff. That I just don't relate to people," Romney says in a promotional video. "For years I've been listening to garbage like that. And I've decided to fight back."
At the White House briefing on Friday, spokesman Eric Schultz was asked if President Obama had any advice for Holyfield, but he said he hadn’t discussed the match with the president. “I had no idea that was happening. So I was pretty dumbfounded by the imagery,” Mr. Schultz said to laughter. (Thank you Jared Rizzi of Sirius XM Radio for asking the question, adding some levity to a slow news day.)
Clearly, Romney has given the match some thought. Boxing fans might recall that Mike Tyson once took a bite out of Holyfield’s ear during a match, and Romney says he doesn’t plan to duplicate that move.
“I’m staying far away from his ears,” Romney told The New York Times. “I don’t for a moment want for him to confuse me with anyone from his past.”
Romney says he will enter in a tuxedo, and then change into red silk shorts and a robe with a hood. Word is that Romney’s physique looks pretty good for a man in his late 60s, but he sounds reluctant to show the world his legs.
“I was affectionately known as Bird Legs during high school. I’m afraid the bird legs will be unveiled one more time,” Romney told the Times.
So it’s not Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, but it’s something. And what might Romney use for entrance music? His response: “I Will Survive.”