Francis Ngannou – whilst losing via split decision – was widely regarded as the moral victor in his fight with Tyson Fury.
The crossover contest saw Ngannou competing professionally in a boxing ring for the first time against the World Heavyweight Champion. Given the circumstances, Fury was expected to romp it.
Instead, he was knocked down in the third round and never seemed to get his rhythm going against a Ngannou that was boxing well to a game-plan.
The points victory – which the MMA man disputes heavily – was underwhelming for a man of Fury’s skill.
Speaking to Boxing King Media, his manager, Spencer Brown, was asked if there was anything in the lead-up to the fight that he felt may have affected his man’s performance in the ring.
Whilst giving props to Ngannou and saying there were no excuses, Brown did highlight some things before the fight that may have contributed.
“Some things people are right about. We were held up in a corridor for 45 minutes. That’s not an excuse, but you’re warmed up, you get ready, then he’s in a corridor, 45 minutes later we’re still there because the dancers were still on.
Maybe he’s overdone it. We went to the Champion’s Dinner the night before – that’s probably my fault, but we were contracted to do it. Ngannou was there as well but I do hold myself responsible for that. It’s just not heard of that you do stuff like that.
Maybe we’d have liked the fight earlier. It was very late at night. We’re not used to that. Should have perhaps prepared for that. But listen, Tyson’s a consummate professional. That was not Tyson what we saw.”
Both fighters had extensive media obligations during fight week as the promotion squeezed every last bit of fanfare from the spectacle event.
Before fight night – usually a time for rest – they were rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Eminem and Cristiano Ronaldo at a Gala dinner.
Fury, though, has remained adamant that he prepared diligently and made no excuses, but has himself admitted it was far from a vintage performance.