In a thrilling showdown in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, emerged victorious with a controversial split decision over former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou.
The match kept fans on the edge of their seats as both fighters displayed their skills and determination.
The 37-year-old Ngannou stunned the crowd by sending Fury to the canvas in round three with a powerful left hook, but the fight took a dramatic turn as the judges’ scorecards revealed a split decision.
One judge scored it 95-94 in favor of Ngannou, while two others gave the win to Fury at 96-93 and 95-94.
Despite not putting his WBC heavyweight belt on the line, Fury was candid about the unexpected challenges in the fight.
He mentioned, “That definitely wasn’t in the script,” and acknowledged the resilience and punching power of Ngannou. Fury regarded Ngannou as one of his toughest opponents in the last decade.
Ngannou, making his professional boxing debut, displayed a tactical approach, while Fury seemed to have a slow start, possibly underestimating his opponent.
The fight saw Fury recover from a knockdown, and Ngannou used his MMA skills to clinch and land body and head shots.
Ultimately, the fight ended in Fury’s favor, extending his unbeaten record to 35 wins and one draw, and winning the commemorative ‘Riyadh champion’ belt.
This victory sets the stage for a highly anticipated matchup with fellow heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
The event was marked not only by the epic showdown but also by the presence of numerous celebrities from the world of combat sports, as well as footballing and music stars.
The event was part of ‘Riyadh Season,’ an entertainment events festival in Saudi Arabia, which has drawn both praise and criticism for the country’s increasing involvement in hosting elite sporting events.
While the outcome of the bout left fans and experts divided, it undoubtedly added another thrilling chapter to the world of combat sports and has left many eagerly awaiting what’s next in the heavyweight division.