Justin Trudeau to fight Sen. Brazeau in boxing bout
Published Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:30PM EST
While Liberals and Conservatives regularly spar on legislative matters in the House of Commons, two high-profile partisans will take that long-running battle to the boxing ring this March.
But rather than simply battling over politics, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau and Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau will instead be fighting to raise money for a good cause.
"I've always loved boxing. My dad used to box," said Trudeau, taking a break from a recent training day at an Ottawa gym.
And as the late-Pierre Trudeau cultivated a public image as an avid sportsman, his son is following in his footsteps.
"He got suspended from school a couple of times as a kid for having boxed. He was always a little smaller than some of the other kids so he decided he was going to train," Trudeau told CTV Ottawa's Terry Marcotte.
"He was pleased I was taking up boxing, he always wanted to make sure that I didn't bite off more than I could chew."
Now, the 40-year-old father will be fighting for the bragging rights of his party -- and for a good cause.
Trudeau has been training since November, hitting the jump rope and doing plenty of sparring, but he admits that Brazeau is a formidable foe.
Brazeau, 37, has served with the Canadian Forces and holds a second-degree black belt in Karate.
"The great thing about boxing is not whether you win or lose, it's being able to show that you can take a hit and pick yourself back up and keep going. That for me, is what this is all about," said Trudeau.
Trudeau had been looking for someone to take on in the ring, and when Brazeau heard about the challenge late last year, he was happy to oblige since he loves the sport.
"I've been a fan all of my life. I've seen fights with Sugar Ray Leonard (and) Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and I'm looking forward to this Trudeau-Brazeau fight," Brazeau said, adding that Trudeau was keen to battle.
"Perhaps he wanted to take a swipe at a senator, which he can't do with most other guys, perhaps because of their age," said Brazeau, who became Canada's youngest senator when he was appointed in 2009.
While the two men come from opposing sides of the political divide, the fight will give Canadians a chance to see two public figures in a whole new light.
Some may be surprised by the similarities between the two.
Both men share an affinity for body art and longish hair, and both represent the younger edge of their respective parties. Both have also been forced to take a few jabs during their public lives.
Last December, Trudeau's youthful zeal landed him in some controversy after he swore in the House of Commons. He later apologized.
And Brazeau isn't a stranger to controversy, either. With his appointment to the Senate three years ago, Brazeau was forced to resign his job at the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples after it was revealed he would be collecting two six-figure salaries at the same time.
Likewise, both pugilists have shown they can take a hit and keep working in the political ring that is Ottawa.
The boxing match is set for March 31 at Ottawa's Hampton Inn Convention Centre.
Tickets, which will go for $250, include a four-course meal.