Oh boy, did Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, get a taste of reality or what? In a night that will long be remembered at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, MMA sensation Francis Ngannou shocked the boxing world by humbling WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. This 10-round non-title fight was filled with surprises no one saw coming.
Who would’ve thought? Tyson Fury, the oh-so-mighty champion, found himself eating the canvas in Riyadh! In a fight that’s the talk of the town, Fury, with all his boxing acclaim (34-0-1, 24 KOs), looked hilariously out of his depth against MMA’s very own, Francis Ngannou (0-1). To add to the comedy, by just round two, Fury was already sporting a neat little cut on his forehead. But the real knee-slapper? Ngannou introducing Fury to the canvas with a wicked left hook in round three. Guess that’s something for Fury’s highlight reel, eh?
Trying to save face, Fury attempted to make a comeback from the fourth round onwards. But let’s be honest, the damage was done and the memes were already flooding the internet. With each round, the noise grew deafening, the mockery evident. The once-feared ‘Gypsy King’ was being outboxed, and it was delightful to watch.
Fury tried. He really did. His jabbing was cute, but Ngannou’s unapologetic power and unanticipated strategy had Fury dancing—oops, I mean staggering—on his toes. And let’s not forget that hilarious knockdown. I’ve replayed that moment more times than I’d like to admit!
Though Fury somehow managed to drag himself back up, his efforts were quite laughable. By round eight, he was trying to prove a point, even if Ngannou reminded him who’s the real deal every now and then.
And while he managed to save face (somewhat), it was clear Ngannou had rattled him. When the scorecards were revealed, the split decision leaned in favor of Ngannou. Despite this roller-coaster of a fight, Fury somehow squeezed out a split decision win: scores of 95-94 for Ngannou and 96-93, 95-94 for Fury.
Our slightly bruised and battered champ is now prepping for another showdown against WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
The Tyson Fury – Oleksandr Usyk fight was all set and ready to roll for Dec 23rd. Now? Not so much. Frank Warren dropped the bombshell after the Francis Ngannou fight. Frank shared that the Riyadh Season is all set to continue until March. That means, lovelies, that the undisputed heavyweight world title fight could be pushed as late as that, confirmed by our trusty source, the BBC.
Now, I get it; everyone has an opinion. While some are giving Fury praise for diving into the ring with Ngannou, others might see it differently calling it a stupid risk before the Usyk fight. But hey, let’s give credit where it’s due. Taking fights left and right is not a walk in the park. It’s tough, it’s risky, and it’s definitely demanding. Whatever your views are on Fury’s decisions, there’s no denying that he’s always up for a challenge. Isn’t that what the sports world is all about?
Post Fight Quotes
Fury remarked, “I certainly didn’t expect that. He’s an impressive fighter. Not only is he powerful, but he’s also more skilled in boxing than we gave him credit for. He fights in a unique style which makes him unpredictable. I held a lot of respect for him, both before and after our fight.
“He adopted a strategy I didn’t anticipate. Instead of pressing the action, he waited, letting me take the lead, hoping to counter my moves. He’s skilled. In fact, he’s posed one of my greatest challenges in the past decade.
“Such is the nature of boxing. I found myself taking a hit to the back of the head. However, I wasn’t severely affected. I was fine, managed to regain my stance, and continued with my strategy. I can’t say how close the fight was, but I secured the win and that’s the main takeaway.”
Ngannou responded, “I’m open to a rematch. I believe the outcome can be different. This was my boxing debut, and it was an enlightening journey. While I admit my shortcomings, I won’t use that as an excuse. I intend to train harder, armed with more experience and a better understanding of boxing. Expect an even stronger version of me next time.
“I admit, I was a tad anxious. Boxing was new territory for me. But now, I’m confident in my ability. Watch out for what’s next!”
The Saudi Money
Riyadh became the ‘City of Stars’ for a night. Not because it hosted the grand Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou fight, but because it flashed a bit of that Saudi cash and suddenly, voila!, celebs appeared out of the woodwork!
First up, Cristiano Ronaldo. From earning those big bucks on the field, seems like CR7 can’t resist the lure of the Saudi Riyal off it. A classy suit, designer shades, but can we truly hide the scent of money chasing? Oh, Cristiano, didn’t you get enough from those sponsorships?
And then there’s Eminem. From rapping about “Lose Yourself” to seemingly losing himself in the Riyadh riyals. He might’ve been engrossed in the fight, but was it the actual fight or the paycheck fight that had his attention? Decisions, decisions.
Manny Pacquiao made an appearance too. A legend in the boxing world, but even legends, it seems, can’t resist a bit of that Saudi green. With a career as respectable as his, one would think he’d be above such things. But then again, the bling of Riyadh might just be too hard to pass up.
— Joe Calzaghe (@JoeCalzagheCBE) October 28, 2023
Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe weren’t far behind. Was it a genuine love for the sport? With Riyadh throwing money like confetti, it’s tough to tell.
Let’s be real. This wasn’t just a significant sporting event; it was a veritable auction. How much for your presence? How much to turn a blind eye? With Saudi money on the line, it seems celebs were all too eager to quote their price.
In the glitzy world of celebrities, where everything has a price tag, Riyadh played the perfect host. Flash the cash, and they will come. And come they did, in droves, chasing the allure of the Saudi treasure.
For the genuine sports enthusiasts, the fight was a memorable showdown. But for those of us who see behind the curtain, it was a spectacle of another kind: butt-kissing celebrities, once again, showing that their loyalty often lies with the highest bidder.