The defeated Russian heavyweight boxer, Alexander Povetkin, sat slumped in his dressing room, when there was a knock on the door……
Thinking about what might have been, the courageous Russian fighter looked up and saw his victor and former opponent, Anthony Joshua, walk in. Joshua bowed to the Russian with courtesy, looked him in the eye and said “Respect!”.
From the very first bell these two excellent fighters showed huge respect for each other in a very unusual way. Although they battered each other for 7 rounds and with world titles at stake, they subtly tapped gloves at beginning & end of each round. This is most unusual when the norm is just an initial tap at the beginning and at the very end of a fight. It was wonderful to see.
After the fight, the Englishman went on to congratulate the Russian lad slowly, almost in pigeon English, giving time for the translator to translate and the fighter to understand the compliments that Joshua was paying to his opponent.
Before they went their separate ways, Joshua said he’d like to visit Russia and Povetkin smiled through his bruised and battered face and invitingly welcomed him by saying “anytime”.
The smile on the Russian’s face said it all.
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Thanks to big Dave Sebuyira (former GB Aussy Rules player and now golfer, cyclist, footballer, musician, songwriter, family man and corporate events director) for alerting me to the dressing room story.