Anthony Joshua won Alexander Povetkin and did what no boxing professional had done in the history of the game. He walked straight to his opponent’s dressing room, bowed and greeted him with humility and showed respect to the man he had defeated.
This nice gesture happened after Anthony Joshua extended his (22-0, 21 KOs) unbeaten run by knocking out Alexander Povetkin in the seventh round to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.
The world heavyweight boxing champion retained his four belts after the gruelling seven-round mandatory title defence against the Russian veteran at Wembley Stadium, London, weathering an early storm from the Russian before the end of the match.
Povetkin started stronger as the game commenced, landing some crucial blows and causing Joshua to bleed heavily from the nose with a shot that left the Nigerian wobbling. Joshua fought back and in the end, there was a massive roar around Wembley when Joshua retained his heavyweight titles yet again.
But one thing that makes AJ stands out is his humility. After the match, when all of the fans had left the stadium, he went to his opponent’s dressing room, and approached the Russian veteran and his entourage and thanked him graciously for the fight.
“Respect, yeah!” Joshua said as he bowed to Povetkin. “You have been good, from [your time as an] amateur… very consistent, yeah. And I want to come to Russia,” he said, later adding: “God bless you, yeah!”
Joshua shook hands with the other members of Povetkin’s team and left the room with the entire members of his opponent’s crew looking shocked but impressed as they kept smiling. AJ certainly knows how to make an opponent feel at ease… especially, after beating them up.
Many other boxers would have been arrogant about their win, but not AJ, and that’s why many observers thinks highly of him. One boxing pundit said he leads all other boxers in many ways.
People don’t care how much you know
You could say AJ is a leader of all other boxers, not just because he has four world championship belts, but also because he cares and showcases humility. Theodore Roosevelt Jr (1858 – 1919), the Ex-American president said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” John Maxwell, the popular author of many leadership books sees Roosevelt’s statement as a key quality of a good leader.
Jim Yong Kim, the 12th and current President of the World Bank said “No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.”
That’s why Bappi Rahman tweeted “People don’t love AJ cause his the champion, people love him cause he loves the people. Humble and respectable, AJ will be remembered as a great man. Congratulations champ, you’ve done everyone proud.”
Joshua’s humility is attracting more fans, as the day passes by, not only in the U.K but also in Russia, as Natalia tweeted, “Huge congratulations, Anthony, so happy for you and very proud! I’m your fan from Russia. Very pleasant to see your respectful attitude to Alexander! Hugs!”
Paul (the apostle) spoke to the Ephesians (4:2) about humility by saying “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” The book of Luke 4:11 explained it in another way: “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Perhaps, that’s why Joshua keeps winning; his humility.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
(Born 354 – Died 430)
By Alex Iwuoha
Alex Iwuoha is a dedicated and results-driven business and marketing professional with over two decades of experience gained within senior management roles across charity, private and public sector organisations.
He is an author and a publisher, with a vast experience in business to business networking and marketing solutions. For more information, please visit www.alexiwuoha.com