By Dexter Foley
Tyson Fury barely beat Francis Ngannou!
Tyson Fury will have to put on a much better performance next February against Oleksandr Usyk than he did against UFC fighter Francis Ngannou. The British boxer who has a very interesting career and life story behind him in Riyadh celebrated with a split decision of the judges after 10 rounds.
One judge scored it 95-94 for Ngannou, one judged that Tyson Fury won 96-93 and the last one also gave the advantage to Fury 95-94. In Saudi Arabia, we had the opportunity to watch an unusual martial arts show in which two guys from two completely different sports competed. Fury and Ngannou fought under boxing rules. The two of them are heavyweight champions.
Given that both men have championship pedigrees, the fight was advertised as the “Battle of the Most Dangerous” in which the man with much more boxing experience won in the end. With this victory, Fury retained the WBC belt and at the same time preserved the title of lineal heavyweight champion, which he acquired in 2015 after a great victory against Wladimir Klitschko.
“The Gipsy King” was a big favorite in this fight precisely because it was on his home field as the fight was fought according to the rules of the sport in which he has marked the last decade. Things in the ring didn’t go as easily as expected, so Fury got a big shock when the strong Ngannou knocked him down in the third round. It wasn’t the first time in his career that this happened, because he had been knocked down before and every time, just like now, he managed to get up.
By the end of the match, the 35-year-old boxer from Manchester managed to impose his rhythm and achieve his 34th career victory in 35 matches. There is no doubt that despite the victory, he had a bitter taste in his mouth because on the other hand, he had as a rival a guy who fought for the first time in professional boxing, although he is known to be a very strong fighter.
Tyson Fury was clearly not in the right shape for this match. He will have to prepare much better for the fight against Usyk, after the outcome of which we will get the first absolute heavyweight champion of the 21st century. The last one was Lennox Lewis who managed to unify all the heavyweight belts in 1999.
Everyone, including Usyk, wrote off Ngannou before the match with Fury, but “The Predator” from Cameroon shocked the whole world. Fury clearly underestimated the boxing skills of Ngannou, he was arrogant and undisciplined, seeing in this fight an easy way to get a large sum of money.
Just because he celebrated much harder than expected in the match against the UFC champion, Usyk will have to wait until February 2024 for the showdown with Tyson Fury. It was originally planned that the two would face each other in the ring on December 23. Usyk is the first since Evander Holyfield to become the heavyweight champion of the world while previously being the undisputed cruiserweight champion.
So far, he has boxed 21 matches and every time he left the ring as a winner, and 14 of his victories were achieved by knockout. Boxing fans have been waiting for the fight between him and Fury for a long time, and it is clear that we are expecting a real spectacle next year and one of the biggest matches in the recent history of boxing.