In a shocking turn of events, Tyson Fury was forced to survive a third-round knockdown to eke past Francis Ngannou via split decision on Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
One judge scored it 95-94 for Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, but was overruled by tallies of 96-93 and 95-94 for Fury. Fury’s WBC heavyweight title wasn’t on the line in the 10-round boxing match.
Ngannou was making his pro boxing debut in his first fight since January 2022 and Fury was installed as a 14-1 favorite to win the match. Fury now moves onto an undisputed heavyweight championship fight against Oleksandr Usyk, who was ringside for Saturday’s bout.
The Fury-Usyk fight is already signed and planned for Dec. 23 in Riyadh, but it’s unclear if the fight will happen on that date.
“It will be our next fight guaranteed,” Fury said.