Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has double-downed on his opinion that MMA veteran Francis Nganou defeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.
Fury barely escaped with his undefeated, with a close ten round split decision win in their non-title fight.
Two judges scored the bout for Fury with tallies of 95-94 and 96-93, while a third had Ngannou as the winner with a card of 95-94.
While many had expected a complete mismatch, the fight was very competitive and fought on even terms.
Hearn is still stunned that Fury’s tactics and usual bag of tricks did not work on Ngannou.
“I thought he won the fight. And for a debutante to beat the world heavyweight champion is just the most unbelievable [feat]. And I know he has the respect of people and all that, but he should actually also be walking away with the greatest victory in the history of boxing. That’s the reality. I can’t believe he did it,” Hearn told The MMA Hour.
“You can’t not respect what he’s done. Like, you can say Fury wasn’t focused, you can say this. He went in there under immense pressure, immense pressure, against a guy that is difficult and awkward, and just to explain it to people that might not follow boxing as much, the little things that Fury does, that work with 99 percent of boxers, just didn’t work with Francis Ngannou. Like, the feints, the traps that he’s setting. Whether that was brilliance or naivety [from Ngannou] doesn’t really matter, but I have to give him respect.”
During the third round, Fury was shockingly dropped by a left hand from Ngannou.
Hearn believes the knockdown, and Ngannou’s physical strength, made Fury fight in a more cautionary manner.
“I’ve never seen Tyson Fury [look like that],” Hearn said. “He looked petrified. When he got dropped in the third round, he did not want to engage. He was thrown around like a rag doll in the clinch. That Francis did so many basic things well in there…… his guard was solid, he caught shots… I’m still [shocked].”