In a night that sent shockwaves through the world of combat sports, Tyson Fury faced off against Francis Ngannou in a highly anticipated battle dubbed the ‘Battle of the Baddest’ in Saudi Arabia. However, the outcome of the fight has stirred controversy and debates within the fighting community.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury, known as the ‘Gypsy King,’ was expected to dominate the former UFC champion Ngannou, who was making his professional boxing debut. Still, what unfolded inside the ring took everyone by surprise. Ngannou, hailing from Cameroon and France, unleashed his formidable punching power early on, catching Fury off guard and dropping him with a powerful left hook in the third round. Fury also suffered a cut on his forehead in round two, leaving fans in disbelief.
Fury, known for his resilience and boxing prowess, managed to recover from the knockdown and engaged in a fierce back-and-forth battle with Ngannou. The Brit’s comeback was impressive, but by the end of the fight, he bore more visible damage than his opponent. This surprising turn of events set the stage for a divisive split decision.
The judges’ scorecards added another layer of controversy to the already intense matchup. Ed Garner scored the fight 95-94 for Ngannou, while Alan Krebs had it 95-94 the other way, favoring Fury. The third judge, Juan Carlos Pelayo, raised eyebrows with his score of 96-93 in favour of Fury. The differing opinions on the fight’s outcome left fans and experts questioning the judging criteria and the final verdict.
Ngannou speaks out: Did Fury really deserve the win?
Ngannou himself was not pleased with the decision and took to social media to express his disappointment. He posted on X (formerly Twitter), saying, “Tyson should say thank you to those 2 judges because I didn’t win this fight.” This statement echoed the sentiments of many who believed that Ngannou had done enough to secure the victory.
Adding more fuel to the controversy, British boxer Chris Eubank Jr. weighed in on the bout, suggesting that Fury deserved to lose after struggling against an opponent who had never boxed professionally before. Eubank Jr. implied that Fury’s recent ventures, such as filming Netflix specials, might have detracted from his dedication to training.
Fury’s rival Oleksandr Usyk, who is expected to face the Gypsy King on December 23 in Saudi Arabia, was present at the event and shared his perspective. Usyk hinted at the possibility that Fury might not have taken the fight seriously enough, underestimating Ngannou due to his MMA background. He commented, “Maybe Tyson Fury did not take it seriously, ‘Oh it’s an MMA fighter blah blah blah.’ I don’t know. See you 23 December.”
The Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou fight will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most talked-about and debated matches in combat sports. The controversial split decision, coupled with Ngannou’s impressive performance, has sparked discussions about judging in boxing and whether Fury underestimated his opponent. With Tyson Fury set to face Oleksandr Usyk in December, the stakes are higher than ever, and the world will be watching closely to see if Fury can regain his dominant form and settle the debate surrounding his clash with Ngannou.