OTTAWA – The victor had a sore jaw and the loser was nursing a seriously bruised ego the day after what’s being called the Thrilla on the Hilla.
In a charity boxing match, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau triumphed over Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau on Saturday when the referee stopped the fight in the third round.
“All I know is, he had reason to be confident because he can hit like a Mack truck,” Trudeau told reporters after the much-ballyhooed match.
“He didn’t know that I could take it and keep going.”
The bout was held at an Ottawa hotel as part of an event to raise money for cancer research. Former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father, died of prostate cancer, while Brazeau’s mother succumbed to lung cancer.
On Sunday, Trudeau tweeted a photo of a book about his father’s effort to patriate the Constitution.
“My morning smile: noticed this on my bedside table when I woke up,” he wrote. “Je t’aime, papa.”
Trudeau, 40, added that he felt pretty good, with the exception of his aching jaw.
Brazeau, sporting a shiner, was preoccupied with thoughts of his mother Sunday.
“When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t help but to think about her,” he told CTV’s Question Period.
“Perhaps Brazeau-Trudeau 2 next year would be a good thing, because we did raise a lot of money and that’s the goal that we set out to achieve.”
Trudeau, who entered the ring wearing a red robe with silver trim to the strains of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag,” was heartily booed by the crowd, which included Conservative cabinet ministers Leona Aglukkaq, Rona Ambrose, James Moore and MP Pierre Poilievre.
Brazeau, 37, wore a blue robe with white trim to the ring, and entered to heavy-metal music.
The senator was the early aggressor, hammering Trudeau up against the ropes. But midway through the first round, the pace slowed and Brazeau seemed to be tiring.
The Liberal MP came out swinging in the second round, landing head and body blows and nailing Brazeau with a flurry of punches in the corner. Trudeau kept up the assault in the third round until the referee called the fight.
Though he had a bloody nose, Brazeau was still standing.
“He didn’t get me down,” Brazeau said.
The brash young senator from Maniwaki, Que., was the odds-on favourite to win. He has a martial arts background and served in the Canadian military.
Asked what hurt most, Brazeau responded “Oh, definitely the ego.”
“You know, I’m a fighter and I’m a competitive guy. Obviously I like to trash talk,” he said.
“I fell short tonight. But I’m still glad that I trained for five months for this. You know, I came up short 30 seconds, so maybe I’ll try to make it up next year.”
As part of the deal, Brazeau has to wear a Liberal jersey this week on Parliament Hill.
“That’s going to sting even more than losing, I think,” he told CTV. “But having said that, a bet is a bet. And I’m a man of my word. It’ll be a long week in terms of some of the jokes I’ll have to take, but my skin is quite thick.”
Trudeau took up boxing in his 20s and has sparred in the gym on and off over the years.
Though many wonder whether he will pursue the Liberal leadership in the footsteps of his famous father, the current interim party chief was quick to weigh in.
“Have been in secret training to take on winner of Trudeau/Brazeau match, feeling ready and fit,” Bob Rae tweeted Sunday.