I've been thinking about his fight a lot and why it gave me so much inspiration in own my spiritual battle . To see two men getting repeatedly knocked down, getting up each time and digging deep, then digging deeper still, left a deep impression on me. I'm reading the excellent Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides again and I was just looking up the Orthodox concept of askesis (spiritual discipline) and the first website I opened had this to say:
The word askesis comes from a Greek verb which means to exercise, to strive, or to contend with the dedication of an athlete. St. Paul used the image of a boxer when referring to his own practice of self-discipline. "I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest" (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). Askesis can be translated as "spiritual discipline," "spiritual striving" or "spiritual training."