Tyson Fury Edges Past Francis Ngannou in a Controversial Split Decision Victory
In an electrifying showdown in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, October 29, British boxing sensation and WBC heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury, clashed with former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout. The highly anticipated fight resulted in a split decision, leaving the audience divided and many feeling that Ngannou should have been declared the winner.
Fury, renowned for his unbeaten status and his ownership of one of the most prestigious belts in the sport, narrowly avoided his first loss against a formidable 37-year-old opponent who had never before ventured into the professional boxing arena. Despite the odds stacked against him, Ngannou displayed remarkable confidence and resilience, going the full 10 rounds with undeniable flair.
The match took a dramatic turn in the third round when Ngannou executed a powerful left hook that sent the British boxer to the canvas. Though Fury, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King,” managed to finish the round, there was no doubt about the formidable challenge he was facing.
The judges’ scorecards revealed a contentious outcome. One judge awarded the fight to Ngannou with a score of 95-94, recognizing the former UFC heavyweight champion’s efforts. However, this decision was overruled by two judges who scored it 96-93 and 95-94 in favor of Fury. Notably, Fury’s WBC heavyweight title was not on the line during this 10-round boxing bout, and Ngannou was making his professional boxing debut, marking his return to combat sports since January 2022.
Despite being a heavy favorite with odds at 14-1, Fury’s performance was widely criticized as one of the “worst” in his career, according to sports commentators. He appeared perplexed throughout the bout, struggling to devise an effective strategy against Ngannou, who showcased impeccable timing. The left hook to Fury’s temple in the third round marked the seventh knockdown of Fury’s career, but, as in previous instances, he managed to beat the count.
The controversial nature of the match fueled speculations that it may have been rigged in favor of Fury, drawing criticism from many within the boxing community.
Fury, while stating that there was no rematch clause, expressed his interest in facing Ngannou again “down the line,” following a potential undisputed title bout against Ukraine’s IBF, IBO, WBO, and WBA champion, Oleksandr Usyk. The clash between Fury and Usyk is expected to take place in Riyadh, with an official date yet to be announced, but both champions have confirmed the match for December 23.
Usyk, who witnessed the bout in Saudi Arabia, declared his readiness for the impending showdown.
Ngannou, who had previously vacated his UFC heavyweight belt due to contractual disputes and became a free agent in January, remained determined to improve his skills, stating, “Now I know I can do this… get ready. The wolf is in the house.”