At the age of 41, Wladimir Klitschko stepped inside Wembley Stadium and suffered the only knockout he’s had in 13 years. Nevermind that his opponent was 27-year-old rising heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua, an Olympic gold medalist and IBF Heavyweight World Champion. It was a match that all boxing fans will remember for years to come, not only because it drew the biggest crowd for a heavyweight fight in 90 years but also because it reminded fans of the great heavyweight fights of yesteryear.
In the fight, Joshua seemed to be in control during the 5th round, but Klitschko was able to answer back with a flurry of his own, flooring Joshua in the 6th. As the fight progressed, the odds of Joshua winning became slim as Klitschko seemed to gain momentum. By the 11th round, it appeared as if Joshua would receive his first loss in his career if he didn’t attack or knockout Klitschko. He did exactly that and handed Klitschko his 5th loss in his storied career.
Although Klitschko had lost the fight, he won the respect of not only the audience that had booed him as he walked in but from the boxing community as well. During the fight, not once did Klitschko back down from an attack, fighting as if the 19-year age difference did not matter. To Klitschko, he had done enough to prove himself, that he was capable of almost driving boxing’s next big thing to defeat.
Two months after his fight, Klitschko penned an article about finding greatness in defeat, a lesson that we could all learn from. Today, Evolve Daily shares What Wladimir Klitschko Wants You To Know About Defeat:
“Success doesn’t necessarily mean achieving a set goal. Instead, success means achieving the best possible result.”
Although Klitschko had set out to defeat Joshua, putting himself through a rigorous training camp to whip himself into the best shape of his life in order to do so, he was unable to accomplish his goal. This doesn’t mean that all his efforts were wasted because he didn’t get there. Knowing that he was able to give someone 19 years his junior a hard time was enough. Because we cannot predict what the best possible result would be, we just have to trust that all our efforts, regardless of the outcome, is always worth it.
“Try to see something valuable in your failure to achieve your goals.”
Everyone has their own share of failures, but what makes someone different is how they view their failures. As the famous saying goes: “When one door closes, another opens.” Perhaps failure can lead to success elsewhere; it is up to us to look hard enough and see the positive in everything. For Klitschko, his loss helped him garner the admiration and respect of those who had previously wished for his defeat. Instead of cheering because he had lost, they cheered him on because they saw him as someone who had courage, someone who had put up a good fight.
“Sometimes, you can achieve amazing things in defeat.”
Success is never straightforward. There will always be twists, turns, and bumps along the road before you finally achieve your goal. And sometimes, these unexpected bumps on the road turn out to have quite the amazing results. Klitschko mentions the work of great innovators such as US Chemist Arthur Spencer Silver who inadvertently discovered Post-its while working to develop a super adhesive and the Pfizer scientists who were working to develop heart medication and unintentionally created Viagra instead. Perhaps we can use these examples as inspiration on our own journey and see how we can turn failure into something amazing.
“You are the driving force.”
Ultimately, it is up to you how to see your failures. You can choose to accept them and move on, you could dwell on them and have them eat you up forever, or you could learn from them. Being open-minded about failure helps us embrace our fears and pushes us to achieve our goals. Instead of being afraid of failure, we should use it to ignite our passion and drive. Knowing all this lies in our hands should motivate us to look beyond our mistakes and failures and be more willing to take risks in order to achieve greatness.
Whether Klitschko decides to meet Joshua again in the ring or not, one thing is for sure. He has earned the respect that he rightfully deserves. By being gracious in defeat, he shows us that even the greatest martial artists are still capable of learning and growing not only in their sport but also in their personal lives.