“I was humble in defeat and I am going to remain humble in victory”. That was one of the few words Anthony Joshua said after winning back his status as the unified boxing world champion. Many are happy and in celebration mood now that he has won it; but few understand what he had to go through to stop himself from making same mistake. His first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr was a loss triggered by some factors which affected his performers. However in his rematch, he crossed all Ts and dotted all Is. Below are few of these negative factors and what he did differently.
What is notable about campions is the high level of focus. Earlier in the year Anthony had Ruiz as his challenger but had Dontey Wilder as his focus. He thought Ruiz was a piece of cake forgetting that all he has been preped for was for a certain Miller. He was looking beyond the Ruiz fight to a possible Dontey fight which never materialised but was replace by a kiss to the canvas.
Anthony changed his focus to just one enemy and that was Ruiz. Dieted for Ruiz, drilled for Ruiz, Simulated for Ruiz and finally fought and won Ruiz.
A good boxer is an individual who punches people and reduces the number of time he gets punched. Anthony Joshua kind of did not really follow that definition. Instead he defined a good boxer as a person who stands his ground and allow himself or herself to be exposed to punches; and he got alot of it. Trying to prove yourself by putting too much swagger to something can make you loose what you are fighting for and that was the case of Joshua. He corrected that in his rematch; running from punches and delivering good ones to rattle his opponent.
A CHANGE IN STYLE
Boxing as a sport has different approaches and Anthony has always tried to adapt to his opponent as seen in his previous fights. He took that skill of his to a new level by becoming a less glamorous Muhammed Ali. He was a more crude Ali, with the foot works and general use of the ring. Moving from side to side and keeping a wide distance to his opponent. A very new approach and he learned and mastered in six months. The only way Ruiz could have won was if Joshua exposed himself but he learnt from mistakes that Ali made using this style.
Humility is quite hard to have when you have all the campionship belts in boxing except one. Anthony was in over his head and was almost becoming invisible in his mind. Ruiz smacked him back to reality and that was seen in the amount of respect he gave to Ruiz before, during and after the fight.
“Anthony Joshua lost to Ruiz because he was proud and won the rematch because he was humble.”
A winner is not him that wins always but one who knows when he looses and prepares for another fight. Anthony would have accepted defeat early after he got dazed by Ruiz in the first fight. Thereby limiting the number of times he kissed the canvas; but that was not to be. Accepting a loss can be a good thing sometimes to reduce the degree of loss. Anthony was lucky he had good people who helped him build a good mentality else it would have been his undoing. Ruiz was a champ and Anthony made him one by seventy percent of his actions. All hail the new champ!