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Justin Trudeau vs. Patrick Brazeau: Parliament hill fight between a Nerd and a bully


Justin Trudeau vs. Patrick Brazeau: Parliament hill fight between a nerd and a bully.


On March 31 2012, a 3 rounds charity boxing match for cancer was held between liberal Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau and conservative senator Patrick Brazeau. The fight served as a fundraiser for (research) and without a doubt, as entertainment to the parliament. (Who said politics was boring?)


Quick rundown of the contestants.

Justin Trudeau



  • Occupation: Elected member of parliament for the Liberal Party of Canada
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 6-foot-2 (188 cm)
  • Weight: 180 pounds (81 kg)
  • Fight experience: Trained in boxing as a way to get in shape. Has never fought inside a ring.

Mostly known for being the Son of former prime minister, of Canada, the late Pierre Eliot Trudeau, Justin doesn't look very intimidating.

He doesn't have battle scars, no big muscles, no scary face and couldn't even come up with and not even any hostile comments prior to the battle. Said Brazeau was going to be surprised.


Patrick Brazeau


  • Occupation: Canadian aboriginal activist and Conservative party senator. At the time of the fight, he was the youngest senator sitting in parliament.
  • Age: 37 years old
  • Height: 5-foot-10 (178 cm)
  • Weight: 183 pounds (83 kg)
  • Fight experience: 2nd degree Karate, some kickboxing.

Second degree Karate black belt, ex army officer sporting a tattoo on his muscular arm, Brazeau not only has the look of a high school bully, he also has the attitude that goes with it. A week prior to the fight, Brazeau was trash talking on his twitter account, confident that he would not only win but completely annihilate his opponent.

Brazeau trash talking Trudeau during the official weight-in

Quick Run down of the boxing match

Round 1

As expected, Brazeau dominates with series of furious punches, many of which land on target. Overwhelmed, Trudeau defends himself as best as he can, but doesn’t seem too affected by the beating he is getting. Brazeau shows signs of fatigue as the round progresses.


Round 2

Tired from the first round, Brazeau doesn't attack as much, if at all. Instead, Trudeau dominates with his longer reaching jab. When Brazeau gets cornered and it seems he can no longer defend against Trudeau’s attacks, the referee starts the count to 8.


Round 3

Having gained in confidence, Trudeau attacks more aggressively. Knowing that he is being dominated, Brazeau unsuccessfully attempts to go for a knockout punch with his last ounces of energy. Justin, calm and fresh continues his attacks forcing the referee to again forces the referee to count out his adversary twice. On the second count, the referee stopped the fight, leading to a victory by Justin Trudeau by technical Knock Out (and Brazeau with a bloody nose).


English Video of the fight from


Lessons to be learned

Being a karate black belt is not equivalent to being a fighter

Despite conventional wisdom, being a black belt in Karate does not make your Fighter

To be good at something. You have to practice aspects and eventually practice whatever it is you want to be good at. Being a karate black belt does not necessarily make someone a fighting expert. When black belt exams comprises techniques in the air, katas, board breaking on l some sparring, you become an experts in those things, not an expert fighter and even less a boxer. Brazeau proves this point well when out of his comfort zone, he uses punches that look like they were picked up from bar fights. His mobility was also seriously lacking, even by Karate standards.



Learn and understand the fighting environment, rules and strategies.

While it is known that Trudeau actually trains in a boxing gym, not much is known about the preparation of Brazeau. We can only assume that he at least went in the ring just to get a feeling of the environment.

We can only assume he acknowledged that the fight was going to be an Olympic style boxing match. That supposes headgear end softer gloves that help absorb some or the impacts to the head, Making knock outs that much a harder to pull off.


The strategy in boxing Olympic boxing is different than professional boxing and is worlds apart from other combat sports. In Olympic boxing, the primary objective is to score points. The force or effect of a punch on the opponent is ignored. As such, a knock out is counted merely as nothing more than a punch.

Regardless of previous training or experience, Brazeau’s strategy to rush in early and wasting all of his energy in flurries of mildly effective punches was questionable. Standing there and getting pounded by Trudeau in the second and third round was on even worse strategy...



Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!

OK. Standing there, getting hit end losing by technical Knock Out probably wasn't part of Brazeau’s plan, although that's pretty much what he did. Most likely, he got winded after his ferocious start and didn’t have enough energy to go on. Was he so stupid that he did not work on his cardio vascular capacity in preparation for the match?

In an interview before the fight Brazeau gave to Jean-Rene Dufort, he mentions that he will be training his cardio prior to the fight, because boxing, after all does require a lot of cardio. So what happened?

It is most likely that Brazeau’s cardio training was not adapted to a boxing match. There are many ways of doing a cardio vascular workout and knowing that boxing requires short burst of maximum intensity, he probably should have adopted a training regimen specific to boxing.




Don’t underestimate the opponent (and overestimate yourself)

Perhaps the main reason for Brazeau’s deficient preparation and match plan was that he underestimated his nerdy and frail looking adversary. He probably thought Trudeau was just a buffoon who watched too many Rocky movies and he was in for a painful lesson. He did state during an interview with Jean-René Dufort weeks before the match that the fight probably wouldn’t get past the first round, insinuating that he would win the match over an overwhelmed opponent.


He planned his fight with that idea in mind and fell flat in Justin Trudeau’s fight… and got an unpleasant surprise…



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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 April 2012 08:20  

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