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As a boxer, Mitt Romney makes a hell of a politician.
The 68-year-old former Massachusetts governor lost to retired professional boxer Evander Holyfield in the second round of a charity match in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Holyfield, 52, opened the bout seeming to toy with Romney, dancing circles around the politician while ducking and moving. He playfully let Romney land a few harmless-looking body blows against the ropes.
The boxer continued letting Romney swing in the second round, and Romney “knocked down” Holyfield. The two men embraced in the ring after Romney's side threw in the towel.
Charity Vision, the nonprofit organization putting on the fight, declared Holyfield the winner at the end.
After the bout, Romney took a house microphone and discussed the fight, throwing in a few verbal jabs at Hillary Clinton’s email server and Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) eye injury but mostly mocking himself.
“Evander whispered in my ear, ‘You float like a bee and sting like a butterfly,’ “ Romney said.
Romney then interviewed Holyfield about his career and the controversial boxing match two weeks earlier between Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Manny Pacquiao.
Romney entered the arena to the blaring sounds of Gloria Gaynor's disco classic “I Will Survive.”
In a gag before the bout, Romney opened up his traditional boxing robe to reveal a collared shirt and tie. His entourage jostled with him to remove the shirt, before Romney competed in a standard boxing outfit: shirtless with trunks.
Romney received a hero’s welcome in Salt Lake City. He is widely credited with rescuing the city’s 2002 Winter Olympics.
The bout was organized to raise money for Charity Vision, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people with vision problems in developing nations. It was expected to raise $1 million.
Romney was an unlikely combatant for a boxing match. He was Massachusetts’ governor from 2003 to 2007, and won the Republican nomination for president in 2012, eventually losing to President Obama.
Romney also ran for the White House in 2008, losing out on the GOP’s nomination to Sen. John McCain.
Holyfield was boxing’s World Undisputed Heavyweight Champion from 1990 to 1992 and won a variety of championships in the heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions. He also won a bronze medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Holyfield is best known for a 1997 bout with Mike Tyson, where Tyson was disqualified for twice biting Holyfield’s ear.
Romney made reference to the incident in the lead-up to his fight, telling the New York Times, “I’m staying far away from his ears. I don’t for a moment want for him to confuse me with anyone from his past.”