Mitt Romney attends the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, but the former presidential candidate is making headlines as much for his odd greeting to Pacquiao before the match as he for his actual presence at the bout.
Venturing in Pacquiao’s dressing room before the fight, Romney wished the fighter well and had a terse but accurate introduction, The Associated Press noted.
”Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost,” Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg.
The fact that Romney attends the fight is probably not a big deal to Pacquiao, who deals with politicians all the time. He is a congressman in his native Philippines, and has said he is considering running for president of his country one day.
Mitt Romney and his wife Ann moved their way into their seats during the undercard to Pacquiao’s rematch with Marquez, drawing little reaction from the crowd.
The fact that Romney attends the fight will do little to overshadow the bout itself. Pacquiao is one of boxing’s biggest draws, and this will be the fourth and final time he faces Marquez in the ring, Reuters noted.
The boxers fought to a draw in 2004, then met again in 2008 when Marquez lost his WBC super-featherweight title to Pacquiao in a close and controversial one-point split decision. They met last November, with Pacquiao narrowly keeping his WBO welterweight belt in a decision the drew boos from the many Marquez fans in attendance.
“He (Marquez) always claims he won the fights,” said Pacquiao “So he needs to prove something.”
Romney attends the fight at the MGM Grand hotel arena as a guest of Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Bill Brady at the fight. Brady had been a strong backer for Romney during the campaign, holding a fundraising event.