- WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury secured a controversial split decision win over former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou
- Ngannou was making his professional boxing debut and gave Fury a challenge he will never forget
WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury secured a controversial split decision win over former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou. Fury was knocked down in round three but was able to continue with the fight until the end. It seemed the scorecards were against the Gypsy King when one judge scored 95-94 in favour of Ngannou. However, the two other judges gave it to Fury at 96-93 and 95-94.
Ngannou was making his professional boxing debut and gave Fury a challenge he will never forget. Speaking after the fight, Fury said Ngannou had given him one of the toughest fights in the last ten years.
“That definitely wasn’t in the script. I got caught round the back of the head [for the knockdown]. I wasn’t hurt. I got up and got back to my boxing. He’s an awkward man and a good puncher and I respect him a lot. He’s given me one of my toughest fights of the last 10 years.” Fury told TNT Sports after the fight, as per BBC Sports.
Fury’s WBC heavyweight belt was not on the line and his split decision victory means he will next face the WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk, with both men attempting to become the first heavyweight since Lennox Lewis to hold the undisputed championship.
Some of the big names which attended the fight include former two-weight UFC Champion Conor McGregor, Oscar De La Hoya, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddel, Frank Mir and Junior dos Santos. The football world was also represented in the crowd with the likes of former Liverpool and FC Bayern Munich man Sadio Mane, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, legend Ronaldo Nazario, Real Madrid great Figo and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
The fight took place in Riyadh and in a separate ring adjacent to rest of the undercard. The undercard took place at a small outdoor arena and included Fabio Wardley Vs David Adeleye, Joseph Parker Vs Simon Kean, Arslanbek Makhmudov Vs Junior Anthony, Moses Itauma Vs Istvan Bernath, Martin Bakole Vs Carlos Takam, and Jack McGann Vs Roberto Duran Jr.
After a lengthy break, the fans and the media moved to into Boulevard Hall stadium where Tyson Fury was to face Francis Ngannou. There was a musical offering which ran for about 30 minutes and it included performance from American singer Becky G, Grammy award winner Lil Baby and London rapper Flowdan.
As the musical arts concluded, it was now time for Ngannou and Fury to step into the ring. There was a huge roar from the fans as both fighters made their way to the ring after sitting on a gold throne.
Ngannou boxed very smartly and he used his MMA skills to attack Tyson Fury’s body and head. The damage was evident on Fury’s face and everyone thought that victory was going Ngannou’s way. Despite the sluggishness of Tyson Fury, he was able to win the fight in the end.