Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko – Champions Defined

There is more than one way to become a champion, a winner and the best you can be in your chosen sport or career, but for me, after all the blows, jabs and body punches unleashed by fierce fists, it’s how you respond to a knockout that ultimately sets you apart from the rest.

It was all quite gentlemanly until Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko stepped into the North West London boxing ring for a fight that will go down in heavyweight history. Refreshingly respectful fighting talk and tactics before any punch was thrown gave us a humane feel for these two warriors who once sparred together and set an intriguing tone without any nonsense or towel of surrender thrown in.

At most, 12 rounds of boxing were on the cards and in the 11th round ‘It Was All a Dream.’ A dream conclusion for Anthony Joshua and a valiant effort from Wladimir Klitschko who at 41 proved, without a doubt, that age is just a number. After all those painful rounds, there are two which summed up what it means to focus, breathe and compose yourself when you’ve been stunned by a punch you didn’t see coming or left yourself open to.

skysports-anthony-joshua-wladamir-klitscho_3941997Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Joshua was floored in the 6th and every heart in the UK was pounding with intensity to the point where I could hear yours and you could hear mine but what followed was nothing short of inspirational and impressive. Lessons in composure, how to breathe, focus and steady ourselves were on display in the 7th and 8th rounds by  the ‘Young Lion’ enabling him to realign with his ultimate goal. Most of us find this a hard task in a room on our own; not in front of a crowd of 90,000 spectators and the millions watching around the world.

And so, Anthony Joshua answered his critics in emphatic style with heroic methods but in truth, the only person he had to answer to was himself. My definition of a champion.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2017

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