Francis Ngannou took Tyson Fury the ten-round distance in his professional boxing debut, even dropping the World Heavyweight Champion on the way.
Ngannou lost via close split-decision, but impressed fans worldwide with his ability in the ring. The narrative leading up to the bout was that the MMA man wouldn’t be able to master the boxing basics to an extent that would trouble Fury.
As with all crossover bouts, there was a theory that he may even revert to type after years in the UFC, employing a takedown in the clinch, or some rough tactics on the inside.
Speaking to Seconds Out in the aftermath, Chris Eubank Jr identified the only MMA move in the fight, and said it came from ‘The Gypsy King.’
“Oh for sure [it was a deliberate elbow.] It wasn’t even masked. At least with the elbow that I got hit with it kind of came in in between a combination. His one was a straight [elbow.] Incredible.
I was expecting something like that to happen from Ngannou, not from Tyson. That just shows you how desperate he was. He knew he was in deep water.”
Ngannou himself has accused the heavyweight champ of a blatant and deliberate foul.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 30, 2023
Eubank had a similar claim in his first knockout loss to Liam Smith, which took place early this year.
The Brighton man was stunned and dropped by a swarming Smith, unable to recover enough to convince the referee he should be able to fight on.
Post-fight, he said an elbow catching him on the side of the head in the midst of the combination played a huge part in his state. Smith said that it was ridiculous, and punches were to blame.