In the book Jack Dempsey: A Flame of Pure Fire, the former heavyweight champion told his biographer Roger Kahn that he wanted the readers to know a very important truth about his career. Dempsey told Kahn, “I want you to get to the people, that losing to Tunney was the making of me.”
Before the two losses to Gene Tunney, Dempsey had been a controversial and popular figure but not the beloved ex champion he would later become. In a sense, losing had actually been a victory of sorts for Dempsey.
It’s a strange quirk in boxing that losing major fights can actually gain a boxer more respect and glory than many or even most of his victories. Such seems to be the case of Wladimir Klitschko. The dominant champion for over a decade was respected by the public for his outstanding example and class but his reign has also been spotted by several less than exciting performances and cries by the media that he had only reigned over a supposedly “weak era.”
Against Anthony Joshua in April, Klitschko boxed the finest performance of his career according to his brother Vitali and Roy Jones Jr. However Dr Steelhammer was stopped by Joshua in the tenth round after a wildly exciting, drama-filled all-time heavyweight title slugfest.
Klitschko said after the loss that it actually did not feel like a loss. And Klitschko reiterated those comments earlier this week: