Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko after the Wembley epic brawl?

May 1, 2017 1:30 am0 comments by:

Joshia knocks out WladimirI read a recent interview conducted by one of the daily national papers about a retired sports person. One of the questions was whether in the course of his career, the feeling after victory differed to one after defeats. The answer to the question was that the instant feeling in both cases was similar. The difference is that feeling experience after victory is kept a bit longer in contrast to the feeling after a defeat.
I am sure that many readers will not be surprised and can relate to it. Even though you may have not competed at a professional level. I am also not surprised at the answer but the follow up question and answer is what I want to bring up or raise. The question was whether there was significant difference between the preparation prior to a victory or defeat.
The response to the question was that the bulk of the preparation was not different. This is the bit that I feel is missed in the post analysis of a high level sporting contest. There is a general assumption that the preparation is obvious and winners did it better than the losers in most cases. I agree that you have to be prepared to win a competitive contest or even life challenges but there is no evident difference in the basic preparation routines. The format or variation, technical and physical fitness routines appears different but the objective is the same.
On Saturday 29th April, Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight championship boxing contest, staged in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. There was many more millions watching on TV on the night.
The fans and critics came out with glowing reviews about the contest. The majority of the praise going to the victor Anthony and few acknowledging Wladimir’s contribution. AJ won the contest and thus the view is he was the better fighter. However, only the critics do mention as after thought that it could easily have been his opponent.
There was ebb and flow during the boxing contest with both fighters hitting the canvas in 5th and 6th round. The difference is that AJ knocked Wladimir in 11th round few times to force the match referee to stop the fight. At the time of the stoppage, Joshua was up 96-93 and 95-93 on two cards, with Klitschko leading 95-93 on the other. The reason for pointing out the scorecard is to draw readers to issue that whilst the media coverage is on AJ with glowing praise for his courage and win. The reality is that Wladimir could have also won the match.
At the press conference, both boxers showed effects of the close boxing fight and were in similar spirits. The slight difference is in the actual speech. AJ is planning to keep the momentum and feeling a bit longer with evidence in social media posts and further media commitments.
In contrast, Wladimir’s speech was a reflective one with message to reveal the next move in due course. Furthermore, there is no mention about the USB stick that contained his prediction about the fight. It is possible that it may not fetch the same fee, if he had won the contest.
It is always easier to analyse post-match and pick up the reasons for the outcome. However, I sense that when both fighters sit down with their management and trainers. It would be much difficult to separate the obvious reasons for the outcome. The preparation and technical ability will not be one of the reasons but execution of the strategy and indiscipline should be among them.
I hope that after the massive reviews that better coverage is given to Wladimir for his boxing abilities. For AJ, I hope that he does learn from the mistakes and works on them for future.  As the options available to him are attractive.
In high level professional sporting contest, the difference between victory and defeat is so close and  execution of your strategy and taking your chances, when it presents itself is the key. The feeling afterwards is not dissimilar in victory or loss.

You do get contests, whereby it is obvious the outcome regardless of the preparation and strategy or passion of the opponent.This was not the case in this boxing match and credit to both fighters for taking risks. It could easily have been an okay contest, as was evident in the first four rounds. This would increase the chances of both fighters avoiding hitting the canvas and rely on their boxing skills to convince the judges. The end result would be that fans moaning about the lack of excitement.
Significantly, it would have resulted in a closer debate about who deserves the victory and may have forced people to really analyse the fight. It did not happen because AJ and Wladimir decided midway to let go and give fans a brawl.
The key question is whether if there is re-match, I believe both fighters will approach the contest in similar fashion but the difference would be in the ring. I am confident that it would not be brawl but tactical.
Obioma Aguocha- is The Continent Observer sports analyst and a Self Publisher of “ The Guide to being the Best (Paperback) 2007 and Sporting Success Simplified 2012 (E-book). You can follow him on Twitter at @sportingadvice


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