We seem to be in a bit of a doldrums when it comes to combat sports news these days.
Oh sure, there was the Bellator welterweight season opener on Friday, which was the usual brand of downright exciting with a dash of puzzling (what was Chris Lozano’s gameplan, anyways?) I’ve come to expect from Bellator tourney fights.
And there were two flavors of “Ultimate Fighter” for fans to choose from this week, so if you like your fights served up in a thick reality TV sauce, you were in luck. Al Iaquinta vs. Miles Jury especially was the sort of sloppy, passionate, hell-bent-for-leather fight that reminds you why you started watching “Big Brother with no girls and WAY more punching” in the first place.
And there was professional wrestling, the bastard step-father (or is that step-son?) of MMA that we all claim to revile, but can’t stop talking about. I didn’t watch Wrestlemania personally (remind me why I EVER bought PPV’s on a Sunday night again?) but I did see that The Rock “beat” John Cena in the main event. So allow me this moment to issue a hearty IN YOUR FACE CHILDREN OF TODAY, THE WRESTLERS I GREW UP WATCHING ARE WAYYYY BETTER THAN THE WRESTLERS YOU GREW UP WATCHING!
Then there was Canada.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure plenty of Canucks were tuned in to Bellator/TUF/Wrestlemania – us polite, pacifist, socialist Canadians have always been HUGE fans of MMA/pro ‘rasslin/all combat sports for some strange reason. But in the Great White North, the “main event” this weekend was undoubtedly the highly anticipated boxing match that went down Friday night in an Ottawa (that’s our capital…no seriously, it is) hotel.
In the blue corner: Fighting out of Repentigny, Quebec. This man is a Shotokan Karate black belt and a longtime member of the Canadian Navy. He stands five feet, ten inches tall, and weighs in at 183 pounds. He has an electoral record of three wins, no losses, and one Senate appointment. Ladies and gentlemen, he is the third youngest senator in Canadian history…
…Patrick “Guaranteed KO” Brazeau (note: not his actual nickname)!!!!!
And in the red corner: Fighting out of Montreal, Quebec. This man is a boxer with over 20 years experience and no professional record. He stands six feet, two inches tall and weighs in at 175 pounds. This man is a school teacher, an actor, and son of a Canadian icon. He is undefeated as a politician with two wins and a current seat in the House of Commons. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the future of Canadian politics…
…Justin “Nowhere to Go” Trudeau (again, just added that cause I’m a sucker for corny, phonetically-correct fighter handles)!!!!!!
Yes folks. This past Friday night two Canadian politicians – one of whom is viewed as a possible future candidate for Prime Minister – threw down in a real, non-worked boxing match. Three, two-minute rounds of politicians beating the crap out of each other for a good cause (proceeds from the match went to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation).
And believe me when I say that in my home and native land, this thing got some big time coverage. The week before the fight, I saw folks who couldn’t pick Jon Jones out of a lineup or even know who “Pretty Boy Floyd” was talking excitedly about this “fight”. There were betting lines on the fight (Brazeau was heavily favored due to his size and martial arts experience), the weigh-ins were given lead-story coverage, and the fight itself was analyzed like it was a world title prize-fight.
The Canadian press even called it “The Thrilla on the Hilla” with “The Hill” being a reference, as it is in the U.S, to the legislative house of government.
Yeah, that’s ridiculous on it’s face – meaning it’s awesome, and you should all be jealous that our country is so economically stable and crime-free that we talk about PR stunt boxing matches as headline news.
And finally, the actual fight – short as it was – played out in a classic fashion we’ve seen so many times in boxing. Brazeau came out hard the first round, both the better boxer and the harder hitter, and batted Trudeau around the ring. Then he got tired. Trudeau took over in the latter rounds, eventually getting a TKO in the third round as Brazeau just turtled up and took shots.
Politicians beating each other bloody for a good cause? Welcome to Friday nights in the land of hockey, beer, beautiful women and more hockey (and more beer).
God, I love my country.
Check out the full fight here.
And you're welcome, world.
By Elton Hobson