Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Trudeau's Boxing Bout a Big Risk: Editorial Exchange: Trudeau's Boxing Bout a Big Risk

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Trudeau's Boxing Bout a Big Risk: Editorial Exchange: Trudeau's Boxing Bout a Big Risk

Article excerpt

An editorial from the Hamilton Spectator, published Feb. 13:

Justin Trudeau may be riding high in the polls at the moment, but his upcoming charity boxing bout could be his real make-or-break moment.

A new Forum Research poll suggests Canadian voters view the popular son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau as one of the top choices for leader of the federal Liberals, placing him second behind interim leader Bob Rae.

The young Quebec MP denies any interest in running for the position this time around.

But you have to wonder what will happen to both his political ambitions and profile after he climbs into the boxing ring and swaps leather with Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.

Though the March 31 event in Ottawa is a fundraiser for cancer, by all accounts both men are taking the three-round fight extremely seriously and training accordingly.

At 6-foot, Trudeau, 40, has a couple of inches of height and reach on Brazeau and studied boxing in his younger days.

But his 37-year-old opponent is not only Canada's youngest senator and a former Canadian soldier, he also has a second-degree black belt in karate and, according to The National Post, a healthy dislike for Trudeau.

Trudeau has a tremendous amount at stake here.

Imagine what might happen to his promising political career if Brazeau's heavy mitts tap out an unanswered military tattoo on his celebrity kisser.

If things go wrong, this could easily be a career-limiting move that will live forever in media and public memory.

The flip side of our celebrity-crazed time is a deep and abiding schadenfreude that loves to see icons sprawled in the dust.

If his legs go limp and rubbery, if his eyes start rolling crazily in his head or, worse still, if he's knocked out cold, Trudeau's star power and dashing image could be broken beyond repair.

Political junkies and those of a certain age will remember the image of former Conservative leader Robert Stanfield, knobby knees and bony hands awkwardly pressed together, clumsily fumbling a tossed football during the 1974 federal election campaign. …

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