On 29th April 2017, the global sporting family was treated to what has been touted as one of the best and biggest boxing matches to grace the Wembley stadium and The UK at large.
The boxing great and an exiting champion, Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko took on the young, energetic and the future of Heavyweight boxing, Nigerian born Briton Anthony Joshua.
During the 11th round of the great game, Anthony Joshua courtesy of a technical knock-out (TKO) retained his IBF world heavyweight title and won the vacant WBA and IBO belts by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in a pulsating, tospy-turvy fight in front of the biggest boxing audience in the UK for almost 80 years.
Having watched every bit of the great action, I couldn’t resist drawing out some great life lessons from the duel champion that would be wonderful in our day to day lives.
The lessons include:
1. Always start strong in life
The champion took to the ring with one thing in his mind; victory. He began the fight with the energy and ferocity of a hungry lion going after its prey. He ignited the crowd which cheered him on.
In life it is important to start strong and build a momentum that will push you on even in the face of obstacles that would want to slow your move.
By starting your job, business and relationships strong, you build confidence and courage that will keep you going all the way to a fruitful end.
When you start strong you also attract the right attention and support which offers a great moral shoulder which we all need in life.
A strong start in life announces your intention early enough and creates clear distinction between those who support or oppose you.
Always start strong in your endeavors and never let people second guess what your intention is. Let your actions and word make it known and go for it.
2. To be a giant, You got to fight giants
Prior to this fight, Anthony Joshua had been to the ring 18 times and won all the matches.
However one thing was bothering his victories, none of his previous opponents were considered great enough in the boxing universe.
The man had to do what a man got to do; Look for a giant, slay the giant and become the new giant instead.
Anthony Joshua took a great and scary step that will define his boxing career for many years to come. He went for the highest challenge in his life. He chose to fight an opponent many would have dared not to.
In life we must take risks and pursue the scariest of goals and plans. Only then shall we be able to know who we really are as our resilience and resolve for success gets put to test.
To make the best of life, take on the giants ahead of you even when you feel scared and the statistics aren’t clearly pointing to your favour.
Learn to let your WILL for victories in life overcome your SKILL at that moment of truth.
3. Mentors are Kingmakers
It was just nice to hear the champion mention name after name of former boxing hall of famers who have played a leading and inspiring role in his own successful career.
It was crystal clear that this is one man with a clear mission in life and who knows where to draw great lessons in and out of the ring.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Who’s current or previous victories inspire you to go on? Whom would you like to be like?
To be successful in life it is imperative to follow the path set by pioneers of success. Create a network of individuals from whom you can draw great lessons of victory, men whose life journey will help you stand strong in the face of fiery challenges of life.
Remember wisdom in life in knowing when to build a new path and when to simply use the path already created by those ahead of you.
Your kingship in life could be hidden in the lives of your mentors. Find them and tap into their wisdom and character.
4. Character is King
One of the sweetest moments of the boxing duel was after the game.
The champion’s senses must have been scrambled, his emotions haywire but his address to the Wembley crowd after 11 rounds of vicious mayhem was pitch-perfect.
Despite his sledgehammer punch Anthony Joshua was not overly triumphant. He thanked all the right people, coming across as the boy next door.
The mutual respect that characterized the build-up reached a whole new level after the two sportsmen had taken each other into territories of pain and effort they could probably have never imagined.
Of all the defining images of an incredible night, the simple picture of Joshua and Klitschko arm-in-arm, gloveless and smiling, topped the lot.
The champion and man of the moment defied the trash talk tradition that characterizes the victors’ speech. He brought nobility back to the great sport.
Success coupled with fame is the only true test of humility.
In life we must work on our character so that every form of success we achieve takes after our character and not vice versa.
Strength of character in the face of great success is such a powerful scene to behold and imitate.
5. Don’t fear a setback, just comeback from it
Watching the game roll into the sixth round, one would have concluded that Wladimir had gotten the best of Joshua. Not so early boy!!!
For the first time in his career Joshua was forced into full survival mode when Klitschko floored him in the sixth round, then tried to finish the job.
It was startling to see the hunter become the hunted, but Joshua would not be caught despite being obviously wounded.
This was a setback which he overcame and instead floored his opponent on the same canvas and won the contest.
How many setbacks have floored you in your life’s journey, maybe once or maybe many times?
Well, you have a choice to make: stand up and fight; stand up and keep moving; stand up and hold you head high; STAND UP AND WIN YOUR LIFE’S BATTLES.
6. Create your own narrative
Prior to the fight, many respected boxing analysts had predicted defeat to Joshua if his opponent would manage to stretch him past the fourth round by avoiding a knock-out.
At some point it looked likely but not in the champions heart and mind. He had prepared a new write-up which he had to deliver for new scripting.
He held on past the 4th round and won the match in the 11th round against all odds.
How have you been defined? Has someone in your circle of friends, family or work already crafted a formula for your success beyond which no one has any hope for you?
Remember you are the deciding factor in your life’s journey.
To stretch or not to stretch? To fight on or not to fight on? To create a new and unknown path of victory or to stick to the known and predictable path? All this is in your power.
I wish you all the best as you make the decision to take on life like a champion and box your way through all the obstacles.
Kindly share your own life lessons from this duel on the comment section below.