A friend was wondering what I think about Mitt Romney vs Evander Holyfield this weekend. I am, after all, a boxing writer who also has written about politics. You’d think I might have something interesting to say. In reality: Probably not.
- It will not be a real boxing match. Not that anyone with half a brain’s expecting that. But if you’ve seen any boxing matches like this, the most anyone could hope for would be a little light contact, mixed in with maybe some pre-planned antics to amuse the crowd. When Shaq fought actual boxers for a TV show, he made sure they were 100+ pounds smaller than him, and I get the impression some real punches were thrown, but he also clowned and got on his knees and punched and such. That’s too high a bar for this match. Romney is 68. He might be in fine shape for a 68-year-old but there’s no chance that Evander Holyfield — himself 52, and over the hill long before his final pro bout in 2011, but still a trained boxer — is going to hit him very hard. Thus, the thing I just now saw on ESPN about the difference in their weights is irrelevant. It’s not a real fight, dudes. There have been active boxers who took it seriously when some non-pro stepped into the ring with him under various circumstances — Jack Dempsey, Archie Moore — and beat the person up, but that doesn’t seem like Holyfield’s personality.
- It is also not really about politics, unless you’re a Democrat REALLY angry at Romney still for some reason and hoping he gets hurt (he will not; see above). A lot of people are reading things into this about Mitt Romney as a failed presidential candidate, that kinda stuff. This isn’t all that pathetic. You might be surprised to learn that in the name of charity, a lot of people do things that are deliberately silly to generate publicity and fire up the donations. The jokes might be funny, but they’re also expected and maybe even by design; Romney’s made plenty of (surprisingly actually amusing) jokes at his own expense. Whatever your political views, Romney should be praised for wanting to help a cause like CharityVision, “a nonprofit that works with physicians in developing countries to eradicate curable blindness.” My only caveat on that is that I’ve always found it weird that celebrities or rich people are holding charity events so often, asking others — less wealthy people — to donate, when, however much they’re donating to charity themselves, they could probably do a lot more, judging by the cars they drive and the size of their mansions.