On Saturday 1st June 2019, the boxing world was shaken to it’s core when the current IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight titles were lost by iconic British boxer Anthony Joshua, to Mexican underdog Andres ‘Andy’ Ruiz Jr.
The odds for the fight were set by the bookies at 10/1 for a Ruiz win, and 1/25 for AJ. It was practically nailed on that Joshua would win. But, after taking two knock downs in the third round and a further two in the seventh, the referee called a technical knockout, as he couldn’t allow the fight to continue. Ruiz was crowned the champion, seizing all 4 belts from Joshua.
The whole world was shocked and amazed that this relative underdog, seemingly out of shape ‘unknown’ had snatched four titles from the champion Joshua.
However, this is not unusual in the boxing world, we have seen many great boxers lose fights to underdogs, Tyson, Ali and Lewis have all done it. Why? One can only assume that maybe they get complacent. They see their opponent but they don’t see a threat. They are at the top of their game and invincible. So maybe they think they just don’t need to train quite as hard as they have previously, maybe they don’t need to put the extra hours in the gym. They are not in that state of optimal anxiety. There is no fear of losing.
After the match, Anthony Joshua released a video, telling boxing fans how he felt about his loss. In the film, he stated a number of insightful things. And the things he said, I think we can all learn from.
First of all his demeanour was positive and relaxed. He wasn’t all ‘woe is me’ and feeling sorry for himself. He talked about how he had reflected on his performance and there was no-one else to blame except himself. He dispelled rumours of food poisoning and panic attacks, that had featured in the press and on social media, in the day or so after the fight. He praised his training team and thanked them, denouncing calls by some to sack his trainers. He took total and complete personal responsibility for his loss.
He reflected on how he had had losses in the past, when he was a much younger boxer, but it had made him a stronger person, and how the whole team that he has had around him since then helped him throughout his career to be a better boxer and a better human being.
He went on to say ‘Never let success get to your head and never let your failures get to your heart…. I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it and get the job done in the rematch.’
So the rematch will be set, and AJ and his team will probably take a completely different approach to training than they have in the last 2 months. He will go back to basics, and make sure everything is on point. There will be no winging it this time. AJ will work out what mistakes he made in his performance, and his team will devise his training to overcome those.
Learning from our mistakes
Only when we accept responsibility, can we grow as humans, and learn from our mistakes. If we continue to deny why we are failing and blame other people or scenarios for things that are going wrong for us, we will never change. We will never get to where we want to be.
If AJ had blamed his team or invented some illness or infection that he was suffering, to excuse his poor performance, would he have anything to work with for the next fight? No he definitely wouldn’t. The reason he is a champion is because he takes the time to analyse his own personal failings and work on how to improve on them.
Mistakes should not be feared
While mistakes and failings can be embarrassing, they should not be feared. Mistakes are a massive learning opportunity. If we are failing at something, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What am I doing?’, ‘Why is it not working?’, ‘Where am I going wrong?’, ‘What can I do differently in the future?’ Only when we ask these insightful questions and most importantly answer them honestly, can we learn and work out how not to fail in the future.
It might take a few attempts before you get the exact right method to do something, but as long as you keep trying something new, that will always be seen as improvement.
When we openly accept our failings and admit our mistakes, it gets us so much respect from those around us. If you think about the people that you really respect, I bet a theme running through them all is that they are honest with themselves and they admit when they are wrong. And you often see, people who have turned their lives around, reformed alcoholics and drug users, they are given so much respect from other people, because they accepted their failings, and worked out a way to make things right, rather than carrying on damaging themselves and others. They stopped, assessed the situation and kept making changes until they got control.
If you stop, take a step back and assess if you are doing your best at this, and realise that you aren’t, don’t beat yourself up. Face it, and make some changes. It’s the only way that you will start winning.
Think what you can do to break behaviour cycles, to halt those damaging habits.
If there are periods in the day that are your danger zones, what can you do differently at these times, so that you don’t slip into that damaging behaviour. If you know what your danger times are, but are stuck for ideas on what to do to stop it, speak to us, message us, ring us, we will have an idea. But you have to be prepared to try them, not just think of an excuse not to do it.
If there are foods that you just can’t stop eating. Don’t buy them. Tell your family (who love you dearly) that you need to stop eating these foods, so for now, you won’t be buying them or having them in the house. They won’t mind if you explain how much it means to you.
If you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere, you aren’t achieving what you want to achieve, take a step back and ask yourself the questions above and most importantly be honest with yourself. Don’t kid yourself that it’s your genes, or you just can’t do this, you’re an emotional eater, or a boredom eater, that you just have no self-control.
Assess the techniques that you are putting in place to tackle these issues.
- Are they effective?
- What are you doing to rectify these problems?
- Is your plan the right plan?
- Are you actually following that plan?
Rather than blame everything else, seize the opportunity to identify your failings and face them.