Francis Ngannou shocked the world when he dropped Tyson Fury in the third of their ten-round contest.
The MMA man was making his pro boxing debut against the current and undefeated WBC Champion. Fury would make the count fine and fight on to win a split decision, but his stock dropped given the performance.
There’s been a debate ever since as to how prepared he was for the fight, with many pundits adamant that he didn’t train and took his opponent lightly.
In contrast, Fury himself says he put in the toughest camp he has in a long time. Well, speaking to IFL TV, Martin Bakole, a regular sparring partner of the Brit’s, says he was not as focused as usual.
“To be honest, I was in Tyson Fury’s camp. If you watch my interview [at the event] when people are asking me, I was saying I will not be surprised to see Ngannou drop Tyson Fury, because, to be honest, Tyson was not 100% focused in the gym. For me, my opinion is the signed contract with Usyk affected his mind for the Ngannou fight.”
Bakole went on to say that Fury wasn’t sparring with the same intensity as he has for previous bouts.
“I’ve never seen Tyson training like that. He was doing four rounds, six rounds in the gym for sparring … Maybe he’s watching this and knows he wasn’t 100% focused That’s not the Tyson Fury I know when he was preparing for Klitschko, Chisora, and Dillian Whyte. This was different.”
‘The Gypsy King’ himself has branded the Ngannou fight the toughest for him in years, and has still refused to say that a lack of preparation caused him to struggle on the night.
He is now deep in training camp for his undisputed bout against Oleksandr Usyk on February 17 – a fight that will need the most diligent prep should he want to walk away with all four belts.