Tyson Fury’s eye was bruised following his narrow win over Francis Ngannou (Boxing King Media)
Tyson Fury has dismissed suggestions that he underestimated Francis Ngannou and believes his own inactivity contributed to his poor performance in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Fury narrowly dodged what would have been one of the biggest upsets in boxing history as he was floored by Ngannou in the third round but went on to beat the MMA fighter via split decision.
The WBC heavyweight champion, who remains unbeaten heading into his undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk next year, had been accused of not training hard enough for his crossover fight with Ngannou.
But Fury claims he would have been beaten by Ngannou, who was making his professional boxing debut, if he had not adequately prepared for the bout.
‘He was a good fighter, he gave me a very good fight and that was it.
Francis Ngannou nearly pulled off an upset against Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia (Getty)
‘I trained very well, I prepared very good, and I didn’t have any excuses or anything.
‘It’s boxing, some days you have good days, some days you don’t. You crack on and you continue.
‘Usually when the media say it’s a mismatch and it’s not worth watching and all that, usually you’re in for a tough night.
‘And if I didn’t train as hard as I did I probably wouldn’t have got through that fight.
‘He punches hard but it was a bit like a hook on the back of the head, the knockdown in round three, apart from that he didn’t really get me with much else.’
Tyson Fury was floored by Francis Ngannou in the third round (Getty)
When asked about his own performance, Fury said: ‘I felt my timing was quite off.
‘I’ve been out of the ring nearly a year again, a little bit of ring rust.
‘It was what it was. It was far from one of my best performances, it wasn’t a vintage Tyson Fury but listen, you do what you’ve got to do in there and get through and on to the next one.
‘I don’t know about a bad night because that’s taking it away from Francis Ngannou’s performance, he did very well.
‘It’s boxing, you can’t be the best version of yourself every time, but it’s about keep going and on to the next one, which is Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship.’
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‘It was far from one of my best performances, it wasn’t a vintage Tyson Fury.’