These Presidents Loved Boxing And Were Pretty Good At It

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These Presidents Loved Boxing And Were Pretty Good At It

There are many things that we as citizens don’t know about the men who have sat in the chair at the oval office. Presidents of the United States of America serve and protect an entire nation, and some of them were even good at defending themselves. These three former presidents not only loved boxing but were pretty good at it, too.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower was one of the most formidable men of his time and boxing had a lot to do with his discipline. He was a five-star general during World War II and once served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. After becoming the 34th POTUS, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961, Eisenhower passed away due to congestive heart failure in ’69.

Eisenhower, famously known as ‘Ike,’ grew up loving boxing and practiced catch wrestling while attending West Point. While at the Academy, his coach was Tom Jenkins, an American heavyweight champion in catch wrestling. Later in life, Ike opted for less physically-challenging hobbies such as golf, reading, card games like poker, and oil painting.

Gerald Ford

Not many Americans think of Ford when naming presidents because he only spent three years in the White House after Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Jimmy Carter, the 39th POTUS, succeeded Ford, and nobody thought of him ever again. Although his presidency was dull, to say the least, he was an All-American athlete at Yale.

He turned down two offers to play professional football in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Instead, he became a boxing coach at his alma mater. When he enlisted in the military after Pearl Harbor, he coached nine sports for the troops but focused mainly on boxing and football.

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt enjoyed boxing when he was younger but had to stop when his retina got severely damaged due to receiving a massive strike to the face. Teddy was always an outgoing person and known to be direct and assertive. During his presidency, he fought corporations and ended monopolies while raising the wages of blue-collar workers.

When Teddy saw master Yamashita Yoshiaki, a famous Japanese Judo mentor, do a routine, he set out to learn the craft. Roosevelt, our 26th president, eventually achieved the Judo rank of third Brown. For those unfamiliar with the art of Judo, this level of accomplishment is not simple to reach, and Roosevelt started at an older age than most.

EXTRA – Warren G. Harding

Although Harding was not a boxer himself, he did like watching fights during a period that boxing was considered a sport for the low-tier social classes. He would often bet on bouts, which people widely frowned upon at the time. In fact, the mere act of crossing films across state lines was illegal, but his love for the sport was too much to care.


While boxing may seem insignificant compared to the feats achieved by these men, it’s safe to say that the sport had something to do with their drive and discipline throughout life. Boxing teaches lessons that would take years to learn outside of the ring. In closing, boxing is life, and these presidents wouldn’t have told you otherwise.