A surprising Liberal victory was won Saturday night in an Ottawa boxing ring when MP Justin Trudeau, considered the underdog in the charity match, beat his opponent Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.
During the months of intensive work-out regimes and trash talk, one gambling site favoured Mr. Brazeau three to one.
But although Mr. Brazeau came out strong in the first round of the Olympic-style match on Saturday, he appeared to tire quickly. By the second round, Mr. Trudeau was able to extend his reach and get several hits in to Mr. Brazeau and had him on the ropes. The referee stopped the match in favour of Mr. Trudeau during the third round.
“I had a gameplan that I was going to stick to, I knew that he was going to come in heavy and hard right off the bat,” Mr. Trudeau said soon after his win. “But I also knew that I was going to be able to take anything he threw at me and when he did, he emptied himself out.”
Mr. Trudeau, who has been boxing for about 20 years, said his jaw was left hurting slightly afterwards. “[Mr. Brazeau]hits very hard,” Mr. Trudeau said. “He actually had me seeing stars a few times.”
The senator weighs 183 lbs (83 kilograms), and Mr. Trudeau is a bit taller and weighs 180 lbs (81.6 kilograms). Mr. Brazeau, who has a black belt in karate and served in the Canadian Forces, admitted that he may have got ahead of himself.
“I guess that’s what happens when you’re a little bit too cocky for fun before the event,” Mr. Brazeau said. “The important thing is that we raised a heck of a whole lot of money for this cause.”
The sold-out Fight for the Cure fight, at Ottawa's Hampton Inn, raised more than $230,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Mr. Brazeau's mother died of lung cancer and Mr. Trudeau’s father, former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, died due to complications from prostate cancer.
In preparation for the match, Mr. Trudeau said he went for a long walk and thought of his father and grandmother, who died Thursday at a B.C. nursing home. Mr. Trudeau walked entered the ring with a temporary Katimivak tattoo, drawn on with markers, referencing a youth-volunteer program he's a supporter of that was chopped in this week's Conservative budget.
About 800 people, including cabinet ministers and MPs, were in the audience for the fight. After his loss, Mr. Brazeau was quick to point out that his opponent may have won but he didn’t “get me down.”
The senator challenged his opponent to a rematch next year, but Mr. Trudeau said he’s not thinking that far in advance yet.
Mr. Brazeau will be getting his signature long locks cut off Monday in the foyer of the House of Commons, in accordance with a bet the two politicians made. He will also have to sport the Liberal party hockey jersey all week.
“Obviously a picture of myself in a Liberal jersey, that’s going to sting more than losing this boxing match tonight,” he said.