Professional wrestler El Hijo del Fantasma wants to team up with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a match against Barack Obama and President Pena Nieto of Mexico.
The high-flying wrestling star revealed his interest (presumably theoretical) in getting into the ring with these world leaders during an interview with the London Telegraph. Of Putin, he declared that "I like him. He's determined. He says 'I'm going to do this' and then he does it. Plus he's a good fighter. He has the moves and the brains."
Putin holds a black belt in judo and that may have influenced the wrestler's preference for an in-ring partner.
The masked, five-time world champion luchador and possible future politician in Mexico will wrestle at London's historic Royal Albert Hall on July 11.
At the urging of his mom, who insisted her son get an education, El Hijo del Fantasma ("the son of the Ghost") studied international relations in college where he authored a thesis about the Russian president and the Cold War. He turned pro two days after graduation. He acknowledged that a career in the political arena (rather than the wrestling one) may be in his future when he retires from the lucha libre circuit.
Lucha libre is a huge part of Mexican culture, he explained, and if the second-generation wrestler (El Fantasma is his dad), who was born in Mexico City, becomes president of his country some day, he vowed to designate lucha libre as the national sport.
As far as a matchup against Obama in the ring is concerned, El Hijo del Fantasma, 31, expressed these thoughts.
"The world leader that I would like to wrestle against is President Barack Obama. And if that was a tag team match, I would like to wrestle with Vladimir Putin against Barack Obama and President Pena Nieto from Mexico. I mean, it's only a wrestling match, but I think Vladimir Putin and myself would have the upper hand, and we would win that easily."In the interview, El Hijo del Fantasma described lucha libre-style professional wrestling "as a combination of many things. It's a sport, and it requires athleticism. But it also has drama and magic. It's not enough to be a competitor -- you also have to feel the atmosphere, and express what you feel."
He noted that he wrestles with a "heel" persona (as we would call it in America). "I consider myself a complete luchador -- I can fly, wrestle on the ground. I also mock my adversary. I don't care about making myself loved by the crowd. But they do love me, because they can see I love this sport."
El Hijo del Fantasma may have a better chance, however, to grapple with Obama on the golf course rather than in the squared circle. During his two terms in office, the president has so far played 236 rounds of golf as of July 5.
[image via YouTube]