That was mind blowing. what a performance from Ngannou, he should be damn proud.
Yeah, I wasn't scoring the fight, but 7 rounds to 3 for Fury seemed about right to me.my feed dropped quite a few times….but from the 75% I saw, that is the right decision.
Francis is gonna make serious bank with his boxing career tho….world of boxing just got a half dozen incredible PPV fights added to their future.
Bellator started doing something along those lines with NCAA wrestlers. They signed a few of 'em, most notably Aaron Pico, while they were still in college to deals that allowed them to continue their college wrestling careers and when they wrapped up & went into MMA, they'd start in Bellator. Although he's still wrestling, another name to keep an eye on is Kyle Snyder, should he ever choose to go the MMA route.If boxing and mma want to really get the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions going - they should be focussing on what college football and basketball do. Get them a free ride at college as an athlete. Even if they don’t make it pro, they get that high quality education option that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get without the sport. And best case they make shit tons of $$ if they are good at boxing etc like with football
Even if they do, you won't see the effects for probably 20 years, if you see any results at all.Oh and ufc might save the divisions with their investment into Africa to grab a lot of potential light heavyweight and heavyweights in the future. Will take some time though.
Oh and ufc might save the divisions with their investment into Africa to grab a lot of potential light heavyweight and heavyweights in the future. Will take some time though.
As a lifelong diehard boxing fan, I’m kinda embarrassed by all the bleating over Ngannou doing so well “in his debut” against the champ. And how it’s an embarrassment to boxing, blah blah blah. The broadcast crew’s analysis post fight was like a funeral, as if this was the biggest abomination of all time that this occurred.
…I feel like that’s letting all the work be done by “in his debut!” and ignoring a shitload of context that makes this more understandable as Ngannou being the outlier it is.
Ngannou went from ostensibly 0 training to starting in earnest at 26, making his MMA a few months later….and within two years is in the UFC.
Within 5 years of beginning training he’s fighting for the UFC HW crown…all along the way primarily winning via his boxing, heavy hands & ability to utilize strength & minimal wrestling to prevent takedowns. At this point he’s also made enough money to be training regularly with top boxing trainers all day every day, for the most part (when not working on his wrestling.)
He also then spent a year and a half with the best boxing trainers focused solely on making his debut in boxing….and being in the HW division his skills largely translated, and his overall strength ended up being a bigger factor than expected neutralizing Fury’s ability to clinch & hold and lean on him…
It’s also worth noting that over the last couple decades boxing became less about skill & more about height & size….but unlike when Fury got to walk into the ring ~40 pounds heavier than Wilder, and could lean on him and wear him down as the fight progressed. Ngannou came in weighing roughly the same amount (273, to Fury 277) & while being noticeably stronger.
Fury bills at 6’9..but imo is more likely 6’6 (looked even with Wladimir)
Ngannou seems a legit 6’4 imo.
Deontay Wilder was 231-38 (6’5 imo)
Derek Chisora was 260lbs (but 6’2)
Dillian Whyte was 253 (6’2)
Wladimir Klitschko was 245 (6’6)
So when you factor in 7 of his biggest fights we’re against either much shorter or much lighter guys that he could own with length & his jab, or lean on with his weight advantage in the clinch to wear down and take into deep waters…..some of his biggest advantages historically were quickly wiped out versus Francis.
….and that’s not to dismiss Fury having a off night & a poor showing in a fight he clearly took lightly, but my take away from it was just how good Ngannou’s boxing translated. There’s plenty of top 10 guys you’d instantly favor him over….which is as much a testament to him, than it is a stain on boxing.
As a boxing fan I came away from this exhilarated to have this injection of talent & hype into the HW division. As well as potentially paving the way for more big name MMA HW draws to make the transition.
Boxing unfortunately often rode the wave of popularity its HW division had at any given time, despite all the best boxing always happening at lower weight classes….so if Ngannou & co. can give the HW division a big boost in eyeballs, it only benefits the sport as a whole.
(and I say all the above as someone who fully expected Fury to demolish Francis, rooted for Fury on behalf of boxing….I couldn’t have had this one pegged more wrong…… but I still came away more excited about what Francis brought to the table & to the sport…..than embarrassed about how close it was. )