Tyson Fury came as close as he ever has to losing that long unbeaten record on Saturday night when he scraped past boxing noice Francis Ngannou.
‘The Gypsy King’ was a 1/12 betting favourite going into the 10-round non-title fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – with his opponent never having boxing professionally.
But instead of having a gentle tune-up for that eagerly-awaited unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk, Fury was taken right to the brink by the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Fury eventually claimed a split-decision victory after being sensationally knocked down in Round 3, but he was mightily unimpressive in doing so.
Chris Eubank Jr on Fury vs Ngannou
Afterwards a number of big fight game names weighed in with their opinions on events in Saudi, including super-middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. He had his own very clear ideas about why Fury struggled so badly.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Watching from ringside I thought Ngannou won the fight. It was close but he was the aggressor, landed heavier shots & scored a knockdown.
“Fury deserved to lose after having so much trouble against a man who has never boxed before… too much time filming Netflix specials not enough time in the gym I’m guessing. Unlucky Francis.”
Despite those struggles on Saturday night, Fury now appears set to lock horns with Usky – either at the end of 2023 or early in 2024. On the line would be all of the heavyweight titles, and the winner would emerge as boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis way back in 1999.
Watching from ringside I thought Ngannou won the fight. It was close but he was the aggressor, landed heavier shots & scored a knockdown. Fury deserved to lose after having so much trouble against a man who has never boxed before… too much time filming Netflix specials not…
— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) October 28, 2023