Boxing fans gave former President Donald Trump a hero’s welcome at a fight that he commentated Saturday night.
According to the Washington Examiner, the crowd erupted into chants of “We love Trump!” before the bout between Trump’s longtime friend Evander Holyfield and Brazilian MMA fighter Vitor Belfort.
“The greatest of all time”
Belfort ended the fight after one round without letting Holyfield land a glove. Before the bout, the crowd roared with enthusiasm as Trump made his appearance.
“This is an honor to be with you! What a great evening,” Trump said, according to the Daily Caller. “I think you’re gonna see an incredible fight,” adding, “We love our country, we love our country. Thank you very much.”
A boxing fan, Trump also appeared at a UFC fight in July, where he received a salute from Mel Gibson, as the New York Post reported. After Saturday’s match, Trump praised the 44-year-old Belfort for taking down “one of the greatest.”
“Vitor, your stock was very high,” Trump said, according to USA Today‘s MMA Junkie, “but it’s even higher tonight because you beat somebody who is, I don’t know, I think probably one of the greatest of all time.”
Massive chants of “WE LOVE TRUMP” and “SPEECH” erupt at the Holyfield vs Belfort fight as President Trump MC’s with @DonaldJTrumpJr
Watch. This is amazing. pic.twitter.com/hq2IsEcPGs
— Danny De Urbina (@dannydeurbina) September 12, 2021
A man of the people
Enthusiasm for Trump was also apparent in New York City as Trump worked the crowd during a surprise visit earlier in the day to firefighters and policemen on the 20-year anniversary of 9/11. There, according to Fox News, Trump hinted that he would run for the White House in 2024, telling a policeman he would be “happy” with the final decision.
Days earlier, Trump remained his old self when he said he would make Joe Biden “go down very, very quickly” in a boxing match, the Daily Caller reported.
Of course, Trump’s public appearances Saturday received predictably hostile and obsessive coverage from the media, which criticized him for not appearing at a ceremony at the World Trade Center, where Joe Biden gathered with Obamas and the Clintons.
But many saw Trump’s impromptu meeting with ordinary New Yorkers as classic Trump, an example of his charisma, sincerity, and friendliness with people from all walks of life — and a positive contrast with Biden’s mingling with other members of the D.C. power elite.
Years after Trump’s outsider appeal magnetized millions to his longshot candidacy in 2016, Trump remains a man of the people with a unique gift for connecting with a crowd. And he is missed by many devoted supporters who will no doubt be there with him should he decide to give politics another go.