Fury vs Ngannou was not only a heavyweight title fight, but it was also the former UFC champion’s professional boxing debut. The Cameroon-born 37-year-old was expected to win this fight and pocket a cool $10 million.
But is Ngannou ready to take on Fury? Read on to find out.
What to Expect
The lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, is aiming to become the first ever undisputed heavyweight champion. To do so, he will need to defeat WBA, IBF and WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in December. However, before that fight can take place, Fury must first take out an opponent with a reputation for massive power in Francis Ngannou.
The match was billed as a battle of the biggest punchers in the division. And, in the early going that is certainly how the fight played out. Ngannou is a former UFC heavyweight champion who is a powerful striker. But, he is also a disciplined boxer who changes stances often and keeps his punches from trending wildly like they do in many mixed martial arts matches. He surprised Fury with his skill and finesse in the boxing ring and nearly pulled off an upset in his professional debut.
Ngannou started the fight by stalking Fury and landing a pair of solid left hooks. Then, he threw a right hand into the body and followed it up with a left cross. Fury retaliated with some solid jabs and an occasional uppercut. But, Ngannou was able to maneuver his way into the clinch where he used his strength to dominate Fury.
Round Two: Ngannou lands a couple of hard straight right hands in the first minute of the round. Then, he lands another right hand to the body. Fury is able to land a short right hand of his own and a few more jabs before the round ends.
Fury was a little more active in the third round, but his attempts to make a quick stoppage of Ngannou went for naught. The MMA-style boxing continued in the fourth round as Fury tried to get inside of Ngannou and throw a few punches up top. Ngannou was waiting for those punches and he would counter with thudding counter-punches of his own. Round five saw Ngannou regaining his composure and taking control of the fight.
As a fight between two elite athletes from completely different worlds, Fury vs Ngannou had a lot of hype behind it. But after a brutal first round, it looked like Ngannou had taken control.
The Cameroonian started the round by landing a left hook to the body. After that, he moves inside and lands a hard right hand on the head. He then clinches again and lands a few more big shots.
Ngannou is a huge heavyweight with a devastating knockout power. He has a long list of professional wins in both MMA and boxing, and is currently the number one contender in the UFC heavyweight division.
However, this fight is Fury’s first time in a professional boxing ring and he seems to have struggled to adjust to the style of his opponent.
Fury is trying to box on his toes and is feinting, baiting and throwing his jab. But Ngannou isn’t allowing him to get a rhythm going, and he’s only getting off a couple of good punches.
In the final minute, Fury goes for a big right uppercut but misses. Ngannou looks tired and is missing more often now.
Ngannou tries to take advantage but Fury is still in control. He gets a decent left hook in and is able to land another good jab to close the round. In the final seconds, Ngannou tries to lunge in with a Superman punch but Fury easily evades it. That’s it for the round!
From NBA stars to UFC champions, the world of combat sports and beyond reacted to Ngannou’s stunning knockout in Fury’s boxing debut. The Cameroonian stunned the gathered crowd in the Saudi capital with a right hand that sent “The Gypsy King” to the canvas and left the Briton with an expression of shock.
It was a massive moment for Ngannou and a major wake-up call for Fury, who had spent much of the buildup to the fight joking about his lack of boxing skills. Ngannou’s knockout was the first punch he had landed in the entire contest and it came just when Fury looked to be starting to find his groove.
The reversal was not enough to derail Ngannou’s momentum, however, as the Briton began to turn up the heat and find his range. Ngannou pressed forward with a ferocity that few expected and he landed several hard body shots to the stomach of Fury. It was enough to give the former MMA champion a narrow split decision win, which came as a huge surprise to many in attendance and the wider combat sports community.
As Ngannou walked to the ring for his post-fight press conference, the gathered media was full of praise for the former UFC superstar. The British fighter, who entered the fight as the WBA’s lineal heavyweight champion, was given a warm welcome by fans and adulation from those in the arena. Fury’s swagger was not dampened by the loss, and he looked set to continue his assault on the top of the division.
Ngannou’s victory was not without controversy, however, with two judges scoring the fight in favor of Fury and one announcing his score as a split decision. A rematch between the two will not be sanctioned by the WBC as the Briton has signed a deal to face Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship on December 23 in Riyadh.
Ngannou’s win over Fury was the first major crossover fight to be held in Saudi Arabia, and it was a massive event for the sport. The pair’s clash was a spectacle filled with plenty of fireworks, from the extravagant entrance to the lavish opening ceremony that saw Ngannou arrive in a golden throne while wearing a crown and robe as he was escorted to the ring by Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya.
The ‘Battle of the Baddest’ is over, and Francis Ngannou has proved his detractors wrong with an astounding performance. It was a masterful showing from the man who left squalor in Cameroon, spent time in prison, and then homeless on the streets of Paris to make his way to the top of mixed martial arts, and now boxing.
He may have only won on one of the official scorecards, but Ngannou was a cut above Fury from start to finish and was arguably the best heavyweight boxer in years. The fight was not the blockbuster many had expected, but it was a nip-and-tuck affair in which Ngannou used his boxing skills to win over an audience who never thought they’d see such a thing.
In the end, a stunning left from Ngannou sent Fury tumbling to the canvas and was followed by a stunned silence. The crowd will be longing for a rematch with the man who made them forget about the heavyweight division’s ‘lack of drama’.
Fury has a nick on his forehead and seems gassed. A hard left from Ngannou catches him on the temple and sends him to the canvas! The count is called, but Fury beats it!
The round is almost over and it’s clear that Ngannou is starting to pull away. He lands a hard right hand in the clinch and then another hard left up top. Fury lands a jab as they brawl, but Ngannou is taking control.
Ngannou looks in full control now. He’s using his speed to get inside and catching Fury with a series of hard punches. Fury tries to rally and catches Ngannou with a sweeping left, but the Cameroon fighter is not done yet. He lands a hard left on the inside, which is a big blow for the Brit, who is trying to avoid Ngannou’s shots. Ngannou lands a couple of glancing body shots as the round closes and seems to be picking up steam. A very close round and it could go either way!