Tyson Fury won a difficult split decision over Francis Ngannou in their 10-round non-title fight in Saudi Arabia.
Despite being knocked down in the third round, Fury won 96-93 on two judges’ cards and 95-94 on the other. The other judge awarded Ngannou 95-94.
Fury is the WBC champion and is recognized as the sport’s top heavyweight. He is unbeaten as a professional, whilst Ngannou was boxing as a professional for the first time in this scheduled 10-rounder.
Fury’s championship could not be at stake against a fighter with no professional boxing experience.
But the MMA fighter pushed him perilously near. After knocking Fury out with a huge left hook in the third round, Ngannou dominated many of the ensuing rounds, only for Fury to win by a tight and contentious split decision.
Fury had to acknowledge: “That definitely wasn’t in the script.”
“He’s given me probably one of my toughest fights in the last 10 years,” Fury continued.
“Francis is a hell of a fighter, strong, big puncher, and a lot better boxer than we all thought he would be.
Ngannou nearly pulled off the most amazing upset in the heavyweight division, if not the entire sport of boxing.
When the bell rang, Fury dashed to the center of the ring to meet him. He jabbed Ngannou in the body before inserting his right cross into his head. Ngannou pushed in, only for Fury to clinch him.
Fury poked Ngannou back, and although being flat-footed early on, Ngannou was unable to catch up with his own lead.
A number of professional athletes through their social handles were not contended with the outcome of the match as they felt Ngannou should be declared the winner.