Canada's PM Trudeau slips from political ring to boxing ring for workout during trip to New York

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gives a lesson in boxing at the famous Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, New York.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spars in the ring at Gleason's Boxing Gym in New York, on April 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed off his sparring skills outside the political ring on Thursday (April 21), lacing up a pair of boxing gloves for a workout during a trip to New York.

Returning to the spotlight that accompanied his White House visit and "bromance" with United States President Barack Obama last month, Mr Trudeau donned a red sleeveless top that revealed his large native Haida raven tattoo to spar at Gleason's in Brooklyn, a gym made famous by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and "the Raging Bull" Jake LaMotta.

With a mix of gym faithful and media members looking on, the 44-year-old Mr Trudeau, who was accused during last year's election campaign of being a political lightweight, spent most of his hour-long workout sparring with professional boxer and former WBA super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman.

"It was great to train him. He is very likable and he has the potential to impact people in his country and around the world very positively," Foreman said afterwards. "And he's got a heavy punch!"

Mr Trudeau's Liberal government has rolled out a mandate of economic investment, refugee assistance and open government, and has enjoyed a prolonged honeymoon in the public eye, avoiding major mistakes and maintaining popularity with voters and the international media alike.

He was in New York a day early in advance of signing the Paris climate-change agreement on Friday.

On a visit to the White House last month, Mr Trudeau sparked a storm on social media and myriad memes and jokes about the shared admiration between Mr Trudeau and Mr Obama.

On Wednesday, GQ magazine awarded Mr Trudeau a spot on its list of "Most Stylish Men Alive Right Now", calling him a real-life version of a Disney prince and a "snowboarding John Mayer doppleganger".

The men's magazine also mocked up a cover featuring Mr Trudeau, in a navy suit and tie, as "That new suave Canadian leader dude", but said the issue would not make its way to newsstands because it had already put too many Canadians on its front page in recent times.

"He seems like a pretty cool guy," said Mr Tony Baldwin, who has been a trainer at Gleason's for seven years, after watching Mr Trudeau take on a string of sparring partners.

When Mr Trudeau was asked how he felt as his workout came to a finish, he first caught his breath and then replied with his trademark smile: "Good! Oh, yeah."

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