Community Journal Entry: A great fighter learns from a loss

ENTRY #18 — Caroline Romero, Canada
February 4, 2020

The boxing match has ended and two fighters are left standing in the ring impatiently awaiting the final decision. One has his hand raised in victory and the other leaves the ring with a silver medal. This happened to my 15-year-old son last weekend when the judges came to a split decision in favor of his opponent.

My son left the ring and proceeded to his post-fight physical check. “Does anything hurt?” the doctor questioned. “Just my heart,” replied my son. The doctor laughed it off as a joke and continued on her way. The more I thought about his response; however, the more it rang true to me that his heart really did hurt. He was being brutally honest in his response. He worked so hard for this match training four times a week in a grueling sport. His hopes were high, he was ready for this. He had a perfect record of 6-0. It’s got to be devastating when things don’t go your way. He literally did have a broken heart.

Immediately after the decision, you could see the wheels turning in his head as he started talking about what he could have done differently. His brain was processing how the outcome could have been different if he had tweaked a few things. I believe that is the definition of a great fighter. A true fighter learns from his mistakes and doesn’t make them again. This is how he grows and becomes a better fighter after a loss. It’s how you get up after defeat that defines you as a fighter.

One example of a fighter who got better after a loss is Georges St. Pierre. The Canadian fighter was on a hot streak when he beat the seemingly invincible Matt Hughes to become UFC middleweight champion at UFC 65. When he was to face Matt Serra to defend his title at UFC 69, everyone was telling “Rush” that it would be an easy fight for him.

Perhaps St. Pierre was a little over-confident because in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, he tapped out at 3:25 of the first round of his championship defense. After his defeat, St. Pierre showed how a loss can be a beneficial for a fighter. He used his loss as a valuable weapon. The Canadian never suffered another defeat during his entire career. He went on to win 13 fights straight against notable fighters including BJ Penn, Thiago Alves, Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping.

I think as a mother, my heart broke for my son as well when I heard the decision because I know how much this sport means to him. When I see the reaction to his loss though, I can really tell it will not be in vain. This first loss is just a small bump in the long road to becoming a great boxer if he uses the experience in a positive way.

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