Despite many discarding Ngannou’s chances of even making to the final bell against Fury, the former UFC heavyweight champion knocked down Fury and took him to a close split decision ruling in their crossover boxing match Saturday in Saudi Arabia. Fury, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, said it wasn’t one of his best nights.
“I felt my timing was quite off,” Fury told Boxing King Media. “I’ve been out of the ring for nearly a year – a little bit of ring rust, but it was what it was. It was far from one of my best performances. It wasn’t a vintage Tyson Fury, but listen, you do what you have to do to get through and on to the next one.”
To the surprise of many, Ngannou knocked down Fury in the third round and gave him a competitive fight in the following rounds. It was by far the biggest and most significant shot of the fight.
Fury said the shot was to the back of the head, and that it was more the illegal placement than the power of Ngannou.
“He punches hard, but it was a bit like a hunk on the back of the head in that knockdown in Round 3. Apart from that, he didn’t really get me with much else,” Fury said.
In the end, Fury is not going to take any credit away from Ngannou.
“You can’t take anything away from Francis Ngannou,” Fury said. “He’s a good fighter and gave me a good fight, and that was it. I trained very well. I prepared very good, and I don’t have any excuses or anything. Some days you have good days, some days you don’t. You crack on and you continue moving forward.”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.