Nobody goes through life without ever knowing some kind of defeat. Even the greatest amongst us suffer failure at some stage – be it in sport, business or indeed in any endeavor.
There is a saying that you either win or you learn ……….. and in sport, particularly a sport like boxing, those lessons can sometimes be harsh.
Over the weekend some of VIP’s highest profile fighters suffered defeats and regardless of where the careers of those respective fighters go from here on in – the boxers involved need to digest the lessons, that fate has thrown their way.
Perhaps the harshest lesson, was that suffered by Ryan Doyle, as he attempted to defend his Commonwealth Featherweight Title at the Copper Box Arena in London. Fresh off a career best win, in a demolition of the much-touted Reece Bellotti in June, Doyle was going into the bout with his confidence at an all-time high.
Training as a full-time pro for the 1st time and with the incentive of a possible unification fight with British Champion Ryan Walsh, in the not too distant future; a win on Saturday night could have sky rocketed Doyle to the fringes of the world scene within 2 or 3 fights.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as he faced an opponent in Jordan Gill, that boxed the perfect fight and had the type of night where he would likely have been victorious regardless of who he was facing.
As it was Doyle was systematically broken down in 7 rounds, before the referee intervened to prevent him taking further punishment.
Over in New Orleans, with a semi final berth in the high profile World Boxing Super Series at stake, Terry Flanagan was out thought and out boxed over 12 rounds by the local favourite Regis Prograis.
Struggling to pin down the unbeaten Prograis, Flanagan was just half a step behind throughout the contest and after finding himself on the floor in the 8th round, the points deficit was insurmountable going into the final sessions.
Despite a spirited 12th round, Flanagan was unable to turn the tide and he fell to his second points defeat in successive bouts. However, it certainly wasn’t one way traffic and if Prograis were to go on and win the tournament, Flanagan’s performance could end up being all the more credible.
Closer to home in Colne, former Commonwealth Champion Luke Blackledge suffered a decision loss over 6 rounds to journeyman Anthony Fox. With aspirations to get back in the title mix in 2019, the reverse came as a massive shock and no doubt as a huge disappointment to the Darwen Super Middleweight.
All 3 fighters and their respective teams will no doubt evaluate this weekend’s performances and attempt to locate the lessons that can be learned.
It could be that things in preparation left something to be desired, it could be that the tactics on the night had not accounted for a particular aspect and with hindsight would have been different.
Or it could be that in that isolated moment in time, the fighter’s best effort was simply not good enough to overcome their foe.
If upon honest reflection, that turns out to be case, there is certainly no shame and the fighter needs to learn and move on.
That’s what we do in every aspect of life – we win or we learn.