By Elliot Worsell
ALTHOUGH we expected tonight’s heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia to be disappointing or amusing, it turned out to be something completely different. Thanks to Ngannou’s performance, it resembled a bullfight, where the bull wasn’t weakened beforehand and had enough strength to shock the matador. It’s hard not to think the matador deserved it in such a situation.
Fury found himself facing a strong and powerful opponent in Ngannou, who didn’t follow the rules of boxing. Fury struggled to understand Ngannou’s movements and timing, making it difficult for him to counteract. As the fight progressed, it became clear that Fury couldn’t hurt Ngannou, while Ngannou unsettled Fury with every blow. In round three, Ngannou knocked Fury down, proving his dominance. Throughout the fight, Ngannou displayed bravery and landed punches despite his lack of boxing experience.
Ngannou’s future in boxing may be limited, but he performed on par with Fury in tonight’s fight. At times, Ngannou appeared more in control and determined to prevent the fight from going to the scorecards. One judge even scored the fight in Ngannou’s favor, which is something he can take pride in.
Fury must reflect on his attitude towards boxing, as he has treated it as a sideshow for the past 18 months. The reality of being clowned in a circus event may be his wake-up call to take the sport more seriously. A fight against Oleksandr Usyk could be the challenge Fury needs to regain his focus and hunger.
In the end, tonight’s fight taught us that hunger and determination can bridge the gap between different fighting disciplines. Without it, a fighter is underprepared and vulnerable. Fury experienced this firsthand and now understands the consequences of not taking boxing seriously.