By Rory Teale

Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury fought a closely contested boxing match in Saudi Arabia that shocked the world, with Fury winning a split decision.

Fans anticipated one of the most unusual matchups of 2023, Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, to be one-sided in favour of the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” Fury.

Francis Ngannou, former heavyweight champion in the premier MMA organization UFC, had never competed in a boxing match before, and fans saw Ngannou not lasting long in the bout from his inexperience in a ring and Fury’s boxing prestige.

However, fans were shocked as the bout unfolded on October 28, producing a closely contested match where both fighters traded hard blows.

Ngannou shocks casual fans and boxing professionals

Music blared as the two fighters made their entrance, with massively popular celebrities like Conor McGregor, Christiano Ronaldo, and Eminem watching from the crowd. The starting bell rang, and the two towering fighters – each well above 6ft – began their historical fight, boxing Champion Fury in green shorts and challenger Ngannou in black.

The contest began tentatively as both fighters began sizing each other up, feinting and jabbing in an attempt to gauge the tactics of their opponent. Round 1 and 2 passed in similar passion, with fans around the world holding their breath, surprised to see Francis Ngannou not showing excessive tiredness yet. 

Ngannou shocked the world further when, with forty seconds remaining on the clock in the third round, he hit Fury with a check left hook that dropped the Champion. Fury managed to raise himself to his feet, wide-eyed, and regained his composure as the referee counted to ten. However, fans of the “Gypsy King” began to worry as Fury looked to have lost his typical in-ring swagger and bravado.

Still, Fury endured Ngannou’s onslaught of heavy-handed punches for the remainder of the rounds as the Cameroonian hounded for a finish, beating Ngannou in controversial judges split decision that had many fans and boxing professionals scratching their heads in confusion.

Fellow UFC fighter Conor McGregor praised Francis: “Jesus, Francis is a powerful boy. Tyson could not hurt him.” Other fighters had stronger opinions on the fight, like a former opponent to social media Jake Paul, and professional MMA fighter, Nate Diaz who raged: 

“Tyson Fury lost, and the boxing commentary biased as f**k dumba**es they need to learn how to box.”

Both Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou have uncertain futures, with Tyson originally slated to fight rival Heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk in a bout that fans now worry will be pushed to a later date. Despite complaining about the corrupt nature of professional boxing, fans admit they would still be eager to see a rematch in the future, where Ngannou would try to avenge his boxing loss. 

Edited by: Jasmine Trapnell


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