Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant will square off with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a celebrity boxing match sponsored by Fox News to be held at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
In what is being dubbed the “Brawl on the Boardwalk,” Gallant pledged to use the $1-milllion winner-take-all prize to pay down the provincial deficit if he wins. Asked why he felt the need to step into the ring with Trump, Gallant said he is responding to Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall to keep New Brunswickers out of the U.S. and his disparaging remarks about Saint John tap water.
“I feel the need to go down there and show him what New Brunswickers are made of. He won’t be able to bully me like he did some of his political opponents like Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” Gallant said.
Doing his best Mike Tyson pre-fight impression — minus the lisp and the girly voice — Gallant talked up his pugilistic skills. “My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I’m just ferocious. I wanna rip his heart out!”
Gallant then proceeded to verbally taunt Trump about his personal appearance. “Donny Trump thinks he’s something special because he wrote The Art of the Deal. What he should have written is The Art of the Comb-Over.”
Trump scoffed at the verbal jabs. Referring to Gallant as a “fresh-faced pipsqueak,” Trump responded in his boastfully bombastic style: “If he’s as nasty as their tap water, I might be in real trouble.”
Speaking to a crowd of rabid supporters in the lobby of Trump Tower New York, The Donald continued his verbal barrage: “How about this? I’ll send him one of my red campaign hats with ‘Make New Brunswick Mediocre’ on it. Not mediocre again; just mediocre, because mediocrity is about all he can aspire to.”
To increase the stakes in the fight, Trump vowed to build a Trump Hotel and Casino on the banks of the Petitcodiac in Moncton if Gallant somehow defeats him. “Call it the Trump Chocolate River Resort and Casino. I’m pretty sure that would create more jobs than he ever has,” Trump sarcastically remarked to a frenzied audience.
Economic Development Minister Rick Doucet sees the fight as an opportunity to attract new business investment to the province. “If the premier can take Trump to the canvas, it will bring new attention to the province and send a message that we are not only open for business, we mean business.”
ESPN boxing analyst and former champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini gives the edge to Trump citing his height advantage, brawler’s mentality and his beat down of Vince McMahon at a WWE Wrestlemania event. Mancini does, however, see Gallant’s youthfulness as an advantage if he can get past the opening rounds where he might outlast Trump in a prolonged bout.
The event will also feature an undercard with former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential running mate Sarah Palin taking on former Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano in a mud-wrestling match, and a lightweight tilt with Florida Senator Marco Rubio going up against Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank.