LOS ANGELES: As a former US presidential candidate, Mitt Romney is no stranger to bruising fights, but he’s in for a new kind of slugfest in a charity bout with ex-heavyweight world champ Evander Holyfield.
“Stormin’ Mormon” Romney and the “Real Deal” Holyfield warmed up for their Friday (Saturday in Manila) showdown in Salt Lake City, Utah, with some tongue-in-cheek trash talking in a video posted by Charity Vision — a Utah organization that provides eye surgery and vision care in the developing world.
“You’ve heard my critics say I’m out of touch, that I’m stiff, that I just don’t relate to people,” a be-suited Romney says.
“For years I’ve been listening to garbage like that.
“And I’ve decided to fight back,” the Harvard grad adds, lifting fists encased in boxing gloves.
“How do you do that? By taking on the former heavyweight champion of the world.”
Holyfield, however, seems unconvinced Romney is up for the challenge.
“I’ve trained every day for people tougher than Mitt Romney,” says Holyfield, sweating through tough training exercises. “Does he even work out?”
A suave Romney assures fans he’s taking the bout “very seriously,” only to take a cellphone call as an assistant continues his weight-lifting repetitions for him.
“Well, it’s true, I don’t have much of a right hook,” Romney confesses.
“But when I get somebody’s ear, I can be pretty formidable,” he adds in a sly reference to the infamous heavyweight title fight in which Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear.
Romney’s wife, Ann, tells People magazine she expects five-time heavyweight world champion Holyfield, 52, to go easy on her 68-year-old husband when they step into the ring before a black-tie crowd.
“Evander has told Mitt that Mitt can hit him as hard as he wants,” she told the magazine. “I think it will be more of a comedy sketch, actually.”