Photo gallery: Justin Trudeau boxes in Brooklyn

For the record, the PM is in New York for a signing ceremony of the Paris climate agreement at the UN

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NEW YORK — Justin Trudeau went boxing in New York City on Thursday — metaphorically sparring with students before doing the real thing in a famous Brooklyn gym.

The prime minister held a question-and-answer session at New York University where some queries packed a punch. One student asked how he could justify backing new oil pipelines after campaigning on climate change.

The prime minister replied that he was very explicit before the election, noting he backed the now-cancelled Keystone XL project and didn’t actually campaign against the fossil-fuel industry.

Halting fossil fuel development is “a simplistic solution that can be very appealing,” Trudeau said.

“If it does then involve everyone leaving their car at home, and everyone stopping to use fossil fuels tomorrow, our world would come to a crashing halt. So we have to be a lot more thoughtful and reasonable.”

His political opponents were throwing their own jabs, using the daily question period in the Commons to dismiss the prime minister’s decision to “fly to New York and work out in front of TV cameras,” in the words of Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose.

Nearly half the students at the forum were Canadian — including one young man in a red Maple Leaf-emblazoned hockey jersey who asked Trudeau about Lester Pearson’s peacekeeping legacy.

Trudeau replied that one reason Canada had the international clout to shape the creation of the United Nations and the design of its peacekeeping system was that it had previously fought in conventional wars.

How did the students react? They applauded warmly — even if they found some of his answers a bit light on detail.

“This was a good introduction,” said Sundus Nasir, a first-year dentistry student originally from Toronto. “There wasn’t a lot of specifics …. Just that he’s here, to engage in a dialogue, I think that’s an important step.”

She said expectations for Trudeau are high. Nasir said he’s well-known abroad — her friends, for example, saw the recent video of him talking about quantum computing.

Related: Quantum computing: PM Trudeau vs. the experts

Trudeau slid on the boxing gloves later Thursday for another viral-video moment.

He jabbed for the cameras at the legendary Gleason’s Gym, where champions Muhammad Ali, Jake (Raging Bull) LaMotta and Mike Tyson trained, albeit in the gym’s previous locations.

The regulars all have their favourite stories about famous boxers who drop in to the gym near the Brooklyn Bridge. Tyson still swings by. Ali wandered in a few years ago.

The gym owner received a phone call last week asking if the prime minister could train there. He agreed — and contacted Frosso Adamakos, a Canadian-raised doctor he knows, to stand ringside lest the photo op go horribly wrong.

Trudeau sparred with former WBA super welter weight champion Israeli Yuri Foreman. They also trained with some kids participating in a youth program.

He arrived in New York a day early for Friday’s signing ceremony of the global Paris climate agreement at the United Nations.

It’s the prime minister’s fourth trip to the U.S. since last month, including stops at a White House state dinner, a nuclear arms-control summit and meetings at the UN after announcing Canada’s bid for a seat on the security council. But a fifth U.S. visit this spring is not in the cards.

On Thursday, Time magazine named him one its 100 most influential people for 2016, a media accolade that includes an invite to a gala. Trudeau’s not expected to attend that soiree.


Photo gallery: Justin Trudeau boxes in Brooklyn

  1. Just for the record, Trudeau’s boxing ring pressers play very well to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the boxing capitals of the country. Trudeau is also showing the country, his ministers know how to run the government and the country, he is just the PM of a very well oiled machine with well qualified people of experience, which in order for the opposition parties to get anywhere near to back in the game again, they will need to bulk up the quality of their party members if they ever want to win again. Until then let the ministers do their job while Trudeau sell the country.

    • Goodness, Andrew Coyne certainly sees things differentl

    • Are you talking about Canada???

  2. Like to see him go three rounds with a pro boxer instead of an intoxicated Indian. “BOUNCER” yeah right.

    • Les,

      I watched the boxing match between Trudeau and the “intoxicated indian” as you put it. Neither one of them knew what they are doing.

      What trudeau DID know however, is that he had to be on the defensive for the greater part of the fight, until the TWO PACK A DAY SMOKER he was fighting against ran out of steam. Classic Rope-a-dope.

      Still, you have to give Trudeau credit for having the guts to accept the fight. It was a great risk, and he pulled it off. Can’t take that away from him.

      Of course…..I am also waiting until the time that Trudeau begins to realize that being the leader of a country is more than just self-promotion and selfies. It’s getting to be embarrassing now.

      • I would love to step into the ring with Pretty boy.

  3. And there head protection is where–dumb and show off or maybe this is part of his problem. Hit in the head too often.

  4. Why does he continue to embarass us.
    Does he think he is putin.