‘Is this real?’: Fans react as Donald Trump unveiled as guest announcer to provide ‘unfiltered commentary’ for boxing bout
Trump, who has long placed himself in the orbit of combat sports throughout his extensive public career, will take the mic for the September 11 fight between the two veteran fighters in what will be Holyfield's first outing in the ring in over a decade against MMA veteran Belfort.
The former president will be joined in the commentary booth by his son Donald Trump Jr., with promoters FITE TV promising that the Trumps will provide analysis on the event they are dubbing as "no holds barred" and saying that the duo will "give an unfiltered boxing commentary" throughout the eight-round professional fight.
Is this real? Wondering if I've suffered some sort of head injury pic.twitter.com/q6iJeCcMNG— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 7, 2021
"I love great fighters and great fights," said Trump of his commentary debut. "I look forward to seeing both this Saturday night and sharing my thoughts ringside. You won’t want to miss this special event."
The addition of the controversial former Commander in Chief will no doubt be a boost to the promoters, who were forced to grapple with the late pullout from the event of Oscar De La Hoya where 'The Golden Boy' was due to make his own ring return against Belfort.
However, the former multiple division world champion was forced to withdraw from the contest after contracting Covid-19 – with Holyfield, who had been in training for his own comeback, drafted in to fill the void.
While it is unclear what – if any – type of notable analysis might be contributed by the Trumps on Saturday night, the former President has had a long association with combat sports over the years.
He has been praised by UFC boss Dana White for his vision in hosting UFC events in his hotels in the halcyon days of the MMA promotion, while also partnered with now-defunct brand Affliction to host fight cards – one of which featured Russian great Fedor Emelianenko – several years back.
Are they taking odds on how long in he mentions a rigged election?— Andrew Helm (@Helm18Andrew) September 8, 2021
“He’s really hitting him, very, very powerfully. This guy is really trying to win the fight, and this guy is getting beaten like a dog. He just is really taking a very tremendous beating- like we’ve never really seen before - every person, man, woman, camera, tv can see it. “— Independent Thinker (@NotPhollowing) September 8, 2021
Holyfield will be 59 next month. So Trump will be the featured commentator for an event in which an aging celebrity tries to score one more payday before everyone forgets who he is.Sounds about right.— Tom Beshere (@tom_beshere) September 8, 2021
Trump harnessed his support in the fight game throughout the latter stages of his ill-fated re-election campaign last year, with UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal joining Donald Trump Jr. on a whistle-stop tour through Florida prior to the November vote.
The UFC's MAGA firebrand Colby Covington is also a well-known Trump acolyte, and visited Trump in the Oval Office during his presidency.
Trump – who has so far remained tight-lipped regarding his potential candidacy for the 2024 presidential election – remains a popular figure in his adopted home state of Florida, and it is thought that his addition to the event will prompt one last surge of ticket and pay-per-view sales in what is boxing's latest attempt at monetizing nostalgia.Also on rt.com ‘A massive f*ck up’: Dana White slams UFC production team for failing to show Donald Trump during UFC 264 broadcast
And somewhat predictably, Twitter fans couldn't resist a couple of digs at the former president ahead of his boxing commentary debut.
"Are they taking odds on how long in he mentions a rigged election?" joked one fan, while another riffed on some of Trump's more shopworn catchphrases.
"He’s really hitting him, very, very powerfully. This guy is really trying to win the fight, and this guy is getting beaten like a dog. He just is really taking a very tremendous beating - like we’ve never really seen before - every person, man, woman, camera, tv can see it," they wrote.
A third, meanwhile, noted that the event might well be a bountiful payday not just for Holyfield, but for Trump too.
"Holyfield will be 59 next month," the fan noted. "So Trump will be the featured commentator for an event in which an ageing celebrity tries to score one more payday before everyone forgets who he is. Sounds about right."