Upon witnessing the shocking demise of Anthony Joshua’s invincible aura, one of the coolest heads around, Lennox Lewis, offered his infinite wisdom.
Lewis, who is the last completely undisputed heavyweight champion in the sport, has been criticized in the past for his thoughts on Joshua.
But most of what Lewis has been preaching came true on June 1, and now it’s all about how Joshua picks himself back up.
WBN has long been shining a spotlight on what Lewis had to offer regarding Joshua, as a huge portion of it was agreed upon.
Joshua has never been the finished article, despite chimes from promoter Eddie Hearn (who was just doing his job), that AJ was an unbeatable force.
We all knew the Briton has significant flaws to his game, namely his chin and bulky physique. One thing we all didn’t bank on was the mentality failure.
Andy Ruiz was the right man in the right place at the right time. The Mexican-American fully capitalized on the situation.
Whether the pressure had finally buckled Joshua or not, we will probably never know until the autobiography comes out.
For now, Joshua faces the biggest challenge of all…overcoming himself. Lewis knows all too well how to come back from adversity.
Offering his usual agreeable musings, Lewis reflected on some of the setbacks drew strength from during his amazing career.
“As a fighter, you set goals! To reach those goals you make plans. These plans can work out exactly as you make them or sometimes nothing like planned. It’s important to know the difference between goals and plans,” stated the ‘Pugilist Specialist’.
“Goals don’t change. When I set out in my amateur career, my goal was to win a gold medal and then turn pro. However, my plans didn’t work out that way. I lost to Tyrell Biggs in the 1984 Olympics. That loss was not how I planned it, even tho my goal remained the same.
“So instead of turning pro in 1984, I remained an amateur. I soaked up more experience and took the Gold in 1988. I reached my goal as an amateur fighter.
“It was time to make new goals and set about on a plan to achieve the goal of undisputed world heavyweight champion.”
He continued: “Everything didn’t always go as planned, but I remained focused on my goal. My loss to (Oliver) McCall was a major setback, but my goal remained the same…UNDISPUTED!
“It was a long, hard road and even took two fights with my toughest competitor, Evander Holyfield. But I eventually achieved the goal I had set for myself before I turned pro.
“At that moment, I had to set new goals. I heard a saying that goes, ‘A plan can take you in many directions, but a goal will only take you in one.’
“This is a true statement and wise words to understand. Remember this and your setbacks won’t feel like the end of the road because they aren’t.
“They are just plans that didn’t work out. Make new ones until u reach your goals! Bless!”
Joshua is set to battle Ruiz again before the end of the year, with bookies making the 2012 Olympic gold medallist the favorite to regain his position.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay