Bizarre moment Russian President Vladimir Putin challenges a female Australian journalist to a FIGHT on the judo mat
- An Aussie journalist nearly proposed a boxing battle against Vladimir Putin
- But Bloomberg reporter Rosalind Mathieson said she wasn’t brave enough
- Putin jokingly offered to face her in judo instead, where he holds a black belt
- He said he would have a ‘competitive advantage’ against the news executive
Vladimir Putin bizarrely offered to take on an Australian journalist at judo during a light-hearted press conference in Russia.
Australian Bloomberg reporter Rosalind Mathieson, who practices muay Thai, or Thai boxing, brought up her boxing prowess during a roundtable with the president at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last week.
Putin joked back that he would not take her on at Thai boxing – but instead proposed a judo bout.
Putin, 66, started practising judo when he was 12 and is a black belt.
Australian journalist Rosalind Mathieson nearly proposed a boxing battle against Russian President Vladimir Putin, before saying she isn’t brave enough to take on the black belt
Mathieson and Putin exchanged in the banter at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where the Russian leader met with the heads of international news outlets
Mathieson, who is the executive editor for international government at Bloomberg News, was at a round table with Putin and other foreign dignitaries when she brought up her boxing talents.
‘But I don’t believe I’d be brave enough to get in the ring with you,’ she told Putin.
The Russian president replied: ‘I would like to say that I would not enter the ring with you myself.
‘Not because you’re a woman, but because everyone should paddle one’s own canoe.’
Putin went on to say he had never boxed before, but instead proposed a judo bout.
‘I can meet you on the tatami for some sparring, but there I’d have a solid advantage, I assure you,’ he said.
In 2012 Putin became the first Russian to receive the 8th dan of the black belt – which is a ranking system used in martial arts.
Putin has been an avid practitioner of Judo since he was just 12-years-old, and also picked up sambo – a Soviet martial art and combat sport
In February, the 66-year-old Russian leader was floored by female Olympic judo medallist Natalia Kuzyutina, 29.
Kuzyutina is said to have sent Putin flying and she boasted afterwards about their sparring.
Following the sparring session, Putin even stood up and kissed his opponent on her forehead.
Taken down: Olympic judo medallist Natalia Kuzyutina (right) is said to have sent Vladimir Putin (left) flying during a judo session in Sochi, Russia in February
Olympic bronze winner Kuzyutina revealed how she had thrown Putin over her head, but images of the moment the judoka left him on the mat have not been released. Pictured: after the sparring session in February in Sochi, Russia
At the same session, Putin injured a finger on his right hand and required first aid.
Olympic bronze winner Kuzyutina revealed how she had thrown Putin over her head, but images of the moment the judoka left him on the mat weren’t released.
‘Thank you President Putin that after such complex negotiation at the summit he found time for a full-scale quality training,’ she said.
‘I was glad yet again to be a sparring partner of the first judoist of our country!’
Putin said after the session: ‘It’s a well known medical fact – the level of adrenaline increases in a person who practices physical exercises, so your mood improves, and you take a different look on the world around you. I can probably say that it helps you to get real.’
In February, the 66-year-old Russian leader was floored by Olympic judo medallist Natalia Kuzyutina, 29