Following his narrow victory to former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou at the Gypsy King in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury admitted the Cameroon MMA fighter gave him a tough fight.
Ngannou, 37, put Fury on the canvas in round three after connecting with a left hook. Fury secured the win on a judges’ decision of 96-93, 95-94 to Fury, 94-95 to Ngannou.
Fury got a first taste of Ngannou’s power in round two, though, as a cut opened on the forehead of the Gypsy King when he ate a left hook.
Fury’s WBC heavyweight belt was not on the line.
Speaking after the fight, Fury admitted it was a tough fight and the biggest in the last ten years.
“That definitely wasn’t in the script. Francis Ngannou is a hell of a fighter,” Fury told TNT Sports.
“He was very awkward, he wasn’t coming forward, he was just standing back waiting for me to land my punches and then trying to counter. He’s given me probably one of my toughest fights in the last 10 years.”
“He is strong, a big puncher, and a lot better boxer than we all thought he’d ever be.
“Listen, he’s a very awkward man, and he’s a good puncher and I respect him a lot. Before the fight, and afterwards.”
Speaking further, the 35-year-old British boxer who survived a knockdown in round three said that happens in boxing.
“It’s part of boxing, ” Fury said with injury on his face.
“I got caught behind my head again, I wasn’t hurt or nothing. I was alright, it was what it was.
“I don’t know how close it was, but I got the win.
“I’ve been out of the ring a long time again, 11 months since my last fight and you can see it in here, ring rust. No excuses, he’s a good fighter and caught me with some good punches.”