Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury showed us once again why he’s considered one of the greatest. Despite an early setback, the WBC & lineal heavyweight boxing world champion rallied back to snag a split decision victory in 10 rounds over MMA heavyweight legend, Francis Ngannou. And all this action went down at the magnificent Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The fight was a kickstart to Riyadh Season, a huge entertainment fest that’ll light up the winter in Saudi Arabia’s flagship city.
Early on, Fury made an aggressive move, going for a quick right. But Ngannou, with his unique style and raw power, adjusted the tempo. Just when we thought Fury found his pace, boom! A sharp counter left hook from Ngannou sent him to the canvas.
But true to his spirit, Fury rose, weathering the storm from an amped-up Ngannou. Those solid rights from Fury managed to slow down the MMA heavyweight’s onslaught. The eighth round had Fury absorb some solid shots from Ngannou, but he stuck to his game plan, weaving in and out, aiming to nail those last two rounds.
The final scores showed how close this fight was – 96-93 and 95-94 in favor of Fury, and one 95-94 for Ngannou.
Post-fight, a humble Fury shared, “Man, that wasn’t what we trained for. Ngannou is a beast. He’s got that power, and he surprised us with his boxing skills. The guy’s tricky, hits hard, and has my respect – before and after the fight.”
“He kept his distance, waited for his moments, and gave me one of the toughest fights I’ve faced recently.”
“I got caught, but it’s boxing. My foundation was solid. I recovered, got back to what I do best, and secured the win.”
Ngannou, ever the warrior, stated, “Let’s do it again. Now, with some boxing under my belt, I believe I’ll come out on top next time. Sure, I was nervous. This is boxing, new territory for me. But now? I’m all in. Watch out!”
Also, let’s not forget about those undercard fights, folks:
Heavyweight: Fabio Wardley, undefeated at (17-0, 16 KOs), capped off his rivalry with David Adeleye (12-1, 11 KOs), taking him down in the seventh round. Wardley was all about the offense while Adeleye tried to find his moments. But by the seventh, Wardley took charge, sealing the deal with a swift combo. Time of stoppage? 2:43.
Heavyweight: Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KOs), a previous heavyweight champion, showed he still has it by taking down Simon Kean (23-2, 22 KOs) with a TKO in the third. After sizing up Kean, Parker started dropping uppercuts, destabilizing and then finishing him off. Stopped at 2:04.
Heavyweight: Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-0, 17 KOs) showcased his power, taking out Junior Anthony Wright (20-5-1, 17 KOs) in the first. Makhmudov’s punches were relentless, leading to the ref ending the fight at 1:10.
Heavyweight: Young gun Moses Itauma (6-0, 4 KOs) showed promise, dropping Istvan Bernath (10-2, 8 KOs) in the first. After a solid jab put Bernath down, Itauma’s combinations finished the job. The clock read 1:53.