Gareth A. Davies is one of the few people who insist that Francis Ngannou wasn’t robbed of a win against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Davies feels the fight was too close to be called a robbery, but the boxing fans on social media view it as such, seeing it was a rigged contest that the former UFC champion Ngannou (0-1) never had a chance of winning.
Ngannou dropped Fury like a bad habit in the third, knocking him down with a counter left hook to the head that had his eyes rolling over like he’d lost consciousness for a split second.
In an interview today, Fury claimed that Ngannou knocked him down with a punch behind his head and said he didn’t land anything else for the remainder of the contest.
That knockdown must have erased Fury’s memory banks because he was getting hit a ton and hurt in the eighth round by another scorching left from Ngannou that had his eyes roll over to whites like a shark.
Was Ngannou robbed?
“It was unbelievable, and that moment made the fight for Francis Ngannou,” said Gareth A. Davies to iFL TV about Ngannou dropping Tyson Fury in the third round with a scorching left hand to the side of the head.
“He just always had his mojo in the fight, no matter what was happening, because he knew he could hurt Fury, and it was a clip, wasn’t it? It wasn’t a massive punch; it was a forehead punch,” Gareth continued about Ngannou with the shot that he flattened Fury with.
Fury showed good recovery ability to get up off the deck to survive the third round knockdown, but only 20 seconds were remaining, so that might have saved him.
“He hit him in the top of the head with a left hand,” said Gareth about the left from Ngannou in round three. “No, no, no, it wasn’t a robbery because it was a close fight. Fury won most of the rounds outside of the third, 10-8 for Ngannou, and the eighth was definitely Ngannou’s with that assault of eight or nine punches from the southpaw stance. That’s what was so impressive about him.”
If you’re one of Fury’s loyal fans, you probably don’t see it as a robbery, but if you’re non-biased and have no dog in this hunt, you saw it as a fight that he should have lost. Let’s not forget that Fury is the money man in the heavyweight division, and it wouldn’t have been good if he’d been beaten by an MMA guy, especially if this was a one-off thing for Ngannou. He’d pick off the #1 heavyweight and then return whence he came to the UFC, leaving Fury’s career in shambles and no one to step in and replace him as the next star.
“He was really durable, his cardio held, and he got his mojo every time he had any trouble,” said Gareth. “Whenever his mouth was open and was blowing, he had a bit of success, and he knew he was dangerous.
“Fury tried to end him a couple of times. Fury got his focus back and came out, jabbing, jabbing, jabbing, trying to finish him before the fifth. Fury was quite good in the fifth & sixth, and Ngannou stayed in the game.”
Fury’s attempt at finishing Ngannou in the fifth amounted to him throwing a couple of right hands, which were countered with left hooks. Tyson then tried to maul Ngannou, which ended in utter failure, as the much stronger former UFC champion bent Tyson’s flabby, weak upper body backward like he was trying to break him in half.
The leaning bit that Fury has used to wear down other heavyweights in recent years was ineffective against Ngannou, as he was too strong to be worn down by this simple tactic taught to him by his trainer SugarHill Steward.
“There was that weird thing where Fury held him twice and pushed him back. They didn’t realize how strong he was going to be. He was very strong in the clinch and good working on the inside,” said Gareth about Ngannou being strong in the clinch with Fury when he tried to maul.
“This is why when you’ve got a guy like Ngannou, who was a heavyweight UFC fighter, who is a naturally stand-up fighter, who is big and powerful as he is, people saying he had zero chance of winning is ridiculous.
“I said it was an 80-20 fight going into it, and maybe 90-10 after four or five rounds. Ngannou never gassed, and Fury reminded me of the Fury in the style of the first Wilder fight [in 2018]. Herky-jerky. They [Team Fury] will not be happy with that performance. He will not be happy with that performance.
“Compared to what we expected Ngannou to be with him,” said Gareth when asked if Fury was poor in there with Francis. “He still won the fight, but there were difficult moments in it. It’s not what he would have wanted to do in this opening of the Riyadh season,” said Gareth.