No, this is not the Onion or Epic Rap Battles of History. This is really happening — tonight.
If a fight between a politician and a former heavyweight champion seems like a bit of a mismatch — don’t worry. The goal is to put on a fun exhibition and raise money to cure blindness.
The 68-year-old retired Republican is stepping into the ring against the 52-year-old retired boxer for charity. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Friday night fight will benefit Charity Vision, a nonprofit with the mission of restoring vision to people in developing nations. The event is expected to raise $1 million, which will pay for things like medical equipment, vision screenings, eye surgeries and training doctors in poverty-stricken areas.
Back in March, Romney told late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon that his 2 1/2 year old grandson had been “training” him to fight. (Watch the video at the link to see what he means by “training.”) Other than that, I don’t think he’s done a lot of boxing in his life.
I found a brief description of the former Massachusetts governor’s athletic prowess in a 2012 L.A. Times article about his health:
The Romneys enjoy athletic pursuits such as swimming and biking when staying at their vacation home on the shore of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Romney has put younger aides to shame during waterskiing expeditions on the lake. He also competes with his five sons each year in the now-famed “Romney Olympics,” which includes contests like beach volleyball, log-sawing and hanging from a bar over the lake until their arms give out (the last contestant hanging on to the bar wins).
In quieter moments, Romney joins his wife, Ann, an accomplished equestrian, for trail rides that have helped her cope with her multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
I don’t see anything in there about boxing. Waterskiing and horseback riding, I’ll warrant, do not prepare one for the ring. Against the former heavyweight champ.
“It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious,” Romney said matter-of-factly in a recent interview. “It won’t be much of a fight. We’ll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit.”
Two things are for sure: they are both stand-up guys for doing this, and they’re certain to raise some big bucks for a great cause.