Call it the Quake on the Lake.
Hopping shirtless in a pair of red silk trunks, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney faced off against World Heavyweight Champion fighter Evander Holyfield for a boxing match here Friday, a spectacle few would have predicted three years ago. The bout was arranged to raise money for Charity Vision, an organization that provides surgeries to heal blindness.
For two rounds, Romney, 68, and Holyfield, 52, went head-to-head, each landing gentle blows that appeared more like a tickle fight than a boxing match. Although Holyfield took a tumble on the mat, Romney’s corner threw in the towel in second round.
The bout didn’t reach Foreman vs. Ali levels of sports history, but the sight of the last runner-up in the race for the White House dancing his way around a ring elevated it to must-watch status.
To prepare for the Main Event, Romney trained with the Fullmer Brothers Boxing Gym–with Holyfield’s help. He walked into the ring in a red robe while the song, “I Will Survive” blared over the sound system. His wife, Ann, joined him, wearing a Batman baseball cap on sideways.
As a friendly event for charity, Romney knew Holyfield wouldn’t engage with full force.
“The good news is that Evander Holyfield always hits above the belt, and sometimes in politics that isn’t the way things are done,” Romney told CNN.
The day before the fight, the duo met for a traditional stare-down ceremony, where Romney weighed in at 179 points. His champion opponent put 236 pounds onto the scale.
“He’s the oldest person that I ever fought. He’s the smallest person I ever fought,” Holyfield told CNN. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that.”
During the match former Massachusetts governor ducked and dodged his way around Holyfield’s mighty-yet restrained–arms, and even got a few soft blows in himself.
“For a man who’s never got in the ring to box, he can throw a jab,” Holyfield said. “He can move around. I was impressed.”
Read more: CNN