Klitschko surprised by positive reaction to Wembley defeat

Wladimir Klitschko says he has been left feeling like a winner despite his defeat at the hands of Anthony Joshua in April. Klitschko had now IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Joshua (19-0-KO19) on the canvas in the sixth round of their clash at Wembley Stadium but eventually succumbed to an 11th-round stoppage.

Wladimir Klitschko had Anthony Joshua in trouble before being beaten in the 11th round at Wembley
Wladimir Klitschko had Anthony Joshua in trouble before being beaten in the 11th round at Wembley

However, Klitschko (64-5-KO53) says the response to his gladiatorial performance against the British star has left him enthused for his future in the ring. Klitschko said: "After years of constantly preparing myself up for victory, this is a completely new experience. I now understand that success does not necessarily mean achieving a set goal.

"Instead, success means achieving the best possible result. Sometimes we cannot see beforehand what the best possible result might be. In the end, it was Anthony Joshua who struck the decisive blow and left the ring victorious. I failed to achieve my goal of winning, but I did in fact gain much more than this.

"I never thought I would say such a thing, but: in defeat, I achieved much greater success than I would have had I won. Fans and sports enthusiasts worldwide are celebrating my performance and showing me their appreciation. Even my opponent expressed his respect for me.

"The responses that I received and continue to receive after this night of boxing are overwhelming. Commentators reported that I showed greatness even in defeat.

"It took a while for me to get over not winning in the ring. Yet I immediately experienced an increase in recognition and respect. When I appeared at Wembley Stadium on April 29, I was booed by the majority of the spectators.

"Joshua had a clear home advantage as an Englishman. But as I left the ring again, I got goosebumps. Tens of thousands of people who had wanted me to be defeated were applauding me.

"I experienced enthusiasm, encouragement and respect: for me, my performance, my fair fight and my boxing as a whole. I cannot wish for anything better."

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