From President to Boxing Commentator

Donald Trump’s unusual post-Presidency career move.

Former President Donald Trump in boxing gloves.

By Nia Dozier

On September 11th, 2001, Donald Trump claimed that his property on Wall Street was now the tallest building in downtown Manhattan. 20 years later to the day, he boarded a plane to Hollywood, Florida in order to make a dramatic career move: his debut as a boxing match commentator. The match pitted Vitor Belfort, a Brazilian mixed martial artist and boxer, against an aging Evander Holyfield, a former champion of cruiserweight category now making a return to the ring. The commentary box featured Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. as well several more seasoned commentators.

Not one to let an elephant in the room remain for long, the former president made quick order of reminding his audience of the significance of the day during which the match took place. After calling the 11th of September “one of the most important days,” due to its connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he spent around a minute criticizing President Joe Biden’s handling of the US military exit from Afghanistan, a country that was first invaded directly following the September 11th attacks.

Although Trump did talk about politics several times during the hours-long event, for the majority of the time he fulfilled his agreed-upon duties and talked about boxing. He seemed surprisingly knowledgeable about the sport for someone so new to commentating, and expressed his opinions on major issues in the sport, such as whether the switch from 15-round fights to 12-round ones was a good decision. However, this particular problem was irrelevant to the Belfort vs. Holyfield fight due to the fact that Belfort won via a technical knockout (TKO) during the first round.

Trump’s boxing knowledge seemed to extend to both current fighters and more obscure ones who have long since retired, which might be because of his history of hosting boxing fights in Atlantic City, the site of several casinos formerly owned by him. He was heavily involved in the boxing scene there during the 1980s and was even inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. He even brought up the recent boxing careers of brothers Jake and Logan Paul, two YouTube vloggers who have recently entered the sport.

While he spent much of the evening discussing the boxing that was to occur, that didn’t stop him from mentioning his political career – and controversies. When asked how he felt about a decision by the panel of  judges, he stated “It’s like the elections. It could be rigged,” repeating an unfounded claim he has repeatedly made since the 2020 presidential election, during which recounts have universally found that he lost to Joe Biden.

While a former president spending the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at a boxing match was highly unusual, Donald Trump made surprisingly few of the controversial political statements that he has become known for. He walked away at the end of the evening with his remaining dignity (mostly) intact, and an undisclosed amount of money richer.