Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou weigh-in in Riyadh
Tyson Fury looked like the MMA fighter during his crossover clash with Francis Ngannou. Not only because of his awkward performance but also because he landed an elbow midway through the fight. The Gypsy King took the contest via a split decision with scorecards of 95-94 to the challenger and 96-93, 95-94 to the lineal heavyweight champion.
Although he was given the nod by the judges many pundits felt Ngannou had done enough to get his hand raised, especially after he sent Fury tumbling to the canvas in round three. “He’s [Fury] been very lucky there. Let’s put it into perspective, very lucky indeed. I don’t agree with that, I think we all feel Ngannou won it,” said Richie Woodhall on commentary.
In a similar vein, Carl Frampton said: “I thought Ngannou won that fight. At times I could not believe what I was watching. Francis came into his first boxing match and was fighting the heavyweight champion of the world, how was he supposed to win? But in my eyes, he won. He boxed beautifully at times.”
It certainly wasn’t a convincing victory and there is a serious case for a rematch. However, Fury snubbed a second fight with Ngannou by insisting that the long-awaited undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk was “guaranteed” to come next
“Listen, it’s been going on a long time,” said Fury as he came face-to-face with Usyk. “We were supposed to fight in April at Wembley, it never happened. Let’s do the fight over here for all the belts.
“These guys will sort it all out and it will be on. It will be our next fight, guaranteed.” Usyk replied: “This is big fight, I want this fight, the whole world wants this fight.” Usyk vs Fury was originally expected to take place on December 23 or some time in January providing everything went to plan.
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But Fury’s dismal showing tonight will surely put a dampener on the bout. The lineal heavyweight champion never really got going and fought within himself throughout.
Meanwhile, despite his lack of boxing pedigree, Ngannou showed off skills far beyond what was expected of him heading into the fight. This was a contest Fury was supposed to win with ease, but it ended up being one of the most difficult fights of his career, both as an amateur and as a professional.
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