The Cameroonian dropped Tyson Fury in the third round (Pictures: Getty)
The WBC champion survived an almighty scare on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia after claiming a spit-decision victory over the former UFC heavyweight champion despite being knocked down by the powerful Cameroonian in the third round.
Many people – including one of the three judges – felt Ngannou had won the contest and the decision was met with raised eyebrows and even a few jeers in Riyadh when it was read out.
Former heavyweight champ Tyson, who has been championing the 37-year-old Ngannou since the fight was announced, didn’t go as far as to claim his protege was robbed but certainly felt it was obvious who the winner was.
Asked immediately after the fight by MMA Junkie how he had scored the bout, Tyson responded: ‘How’d you score it?!’
When the reporter said he felt Ngannou had won, Iron Mike continued: ‘Alright. That’s how I scored it.
‘[Was it a robbery?] No. It wasn’t a robbery, but everybody knows the outcome!’
Ngannou landed a massive left hand to drop Fury (Picture: Getty)
Tyson had been in Ngannou’s corner for the fight and gave him a crash course in heavyweight boxing, while the Cameroonian’s trainer – MMA striking coach Dewey Cooper – was adamant they should have got the decision.
‘I thought we won the fight with the knockdown,’ said Cooper afterwards.
‘It was a back and forth fight but I felt like it was probably even on rounds and the knockdown should have given us the advantage – like the one judge had it, 95-94 is how I scored it.
‘I even told Francis in the last round that he had to stay sharp, don’t let him steal the fight.
‘So I thought we had won it closely but even losing this fight closely is a magnificent accomplishment. Everybody, you guys [the media], everybody said we had no shot. Everybody said he was getting knocked out no matter what he do.
‘But he dropped the champ! The prime, undefeated champ. His first fight out. He went 10 rounds with as much energy as the champ. I felt we won the fight by a round or two.
‘But this is why boxing is going on a slight decline. Boxing is now a business disguised as a sport. We need to keep it real and make these decisions as transparent as possible.
‘At the end of the day it didn’t go our way but I’m proud of Francis!’
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The Cameroonian dropped Tyson Fury in the third round.