Tyson Fury secured a split decision victory over Francis Ngannou, even after experiencing a knockdown during the match.


WBC heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury secured a split decision victory over former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout held in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, October 29. The match, which nearly caused one of the most significant upsets in boxing, had many spectators believing that Ngannou deserved the win.

Fury, the undefeated holder of one of boxing’s most prestigious titles, narrowly avoided his first defeat against the 37-year-old opponent, who had never professionally boxed before but went the distance of 10 rounds with confidence. Ngannou dropped Fury to the canvas in the third round with a powerful left hook, though the “Gypsy King” managed to see out the round, acknowledging the challenge he faced.

The judges’ scores were closely contested, with one judge giving it 95-94 in favor of Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion. However, the other two judges overruled with scores of 96-93 and 95-94 in favor of Fury. It’s important to note that Fury’s WBC heavyweight title was not on the line in this 10-round boxing match. Ngannou made his professional boxing debut in this bout, marking his return to competition since January 2022.

Tyson Fury was a significant favorite to win the match, with a 14-1 odds in his favor. He was expected to advance to a potential undisputed heavyweight championship fight against Oleksandr Usyk. Nevertheless, the match was characterized by sports commentators as perhaps the “worst performance of his career.”

Throughout the bout, Fury seemed puzzled and struggled to find an effective strategy against Ngannou, who displayed surprising timing. Ngannou landed a left hook on Fury’s temple in the third round, resulting in a knockdown – the seventh of Fury’s career. Nevertheless, Fury managed to beat the count, as he had done in his previous six knockdowns, including four during his heavyweight title trilogy with Deontay Wilder. There have been allegations from some in the boxing community that the match was rigged in Fury’s favor.

Fury mentioned that there was no rematch clause, but he expressed interest in facing Ngannou again “down the line,” after an undisputed title fight against Oleksandr Usyk. The date for their bout in Riyadh is yet to be officially announced, but both champions confirmed it would take place on December 23.

Usyk, who was present in Saudi Arabia to observe his future opponent, expressed his readiness for the upcoming clash.

Ngannou had vacated his heavyweight belt earlier due to a contract dispute with the UFC and became a free agent in January. Despite the challenges he faced, he acknowledged his desire to improve and return stronger, stating, “Now I know I can do this… get ready. The wolf is in the house.”

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