In a struggling performance, Tyson Fury remained undefeated with a narrow split decision win over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou, beating him in a fight that came down to one round on a judge’s scorecard (95-94 Ngannou, 96-93 Fury & 95-94 Fury).
Francis Ngannou was able to compete with Tyson Fury throughout the fight, pressuring him and even picking up a knockdown in the early rounds. But in the eyes of two of the three judges at ringside, Fury was able to land enough against the crossing over fighter to remain undefeated.
Francis Ngannou knocks Tyson Fury down in the third
The fight went from a close and quiet encounter to a loud and dramatic one in the third round, when Fury was caught with a clean left hook from Francis Ngannou. Tyson Fury was able to recover from this shot, beating the 10-count and surviving the final 30 seconds left in the round once it resumed.
There were brief moments where Francis Ngannou would get a big reaction from the crowd. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion had a second wind in the eighth round, scoring a series of hooks to the head that backed Tyson Fury up. The fight had a low output from both fighters at times, including rounds where hardly any clean shots were landed.
Tyson Fury comments on rough performance
After the fight, Tyson Fury was asked about the fact that he kept his attack to a slow pace through all 10 rounds.
“I’ve been out of the ring a long time again … You can see it in here, ring rust and everything,” Tyson Fury said in his post-fight interview.
Ngannou was making his first-ever appearance in boxing. His last combat sports appearance dated back to early 2022, when he defended his UFC Heavyweight Championship with a five-round unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane.
Tyson Fury was making his first appearance of 2023. He earned a pair of stoppage wins the year before, beating Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora to defend his WBC Heavyweight Championship.
Fabio Wardley scores finish in co-main event
After the first six rounds of the bout were close and competitive, a pair of hard shots from Wardley sent Adeley to the canvas hard. A right hook when leaving a clinch, and then a follow-up left hand from Wardley caused Adeley to fly backward onto the canvas. Adeley returned to his feet with a grin, but it was clear that he was in trouble. Wardley wailed away on Adeley with hooks to his head after the fight resumed A few shots sent Adeley bouncing off the ropes, causing the referee to make the call to end the bout.
Wardley has now scored 17 pro wins since he turned pro in 2017. The win this weekend earned him the Commonwealth Boxing Council Heavyweight Championship and WBO European Heavyweight Championship and also kept the BBBofC British heavyweight Championship – a title he earned last year with a win over Nathan Gorman – in his possession.
Adeleye was coming off a pair of big wins from earlier this year, stopping fellow rising heavyweights Dmytro Bezus and Emir Ahmatovic.
Three heavyweights earn first-round wins
A trio of notable names at heavyweight had quick performances this weekend.
Former WBO World Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker had another impressive performance this weekend, putting away Simon Kean in the third round of their 10-round contest.
Parker scored a clean uppercut to the head of Kean in the third frame, flooring the Canadian talent and doing enough damage that he wasn’t able to get up before the end of the 10-count. This knockdown came after a pair of shots from Parker previously wobbled Kean on the feet.
Parker has now picked up three victories since his 2022 WBO title fight loss against Joe Joyce. Kean came into this fight with an extensive eight-fight winning streak, with all of them coming within the distance.
A knockdown came early for Makhmudov in the fight. He stunned Wright early with a clean right hook, then followed up with a left hook while the heavyweight crashed to the canvas. While Wright narrowly beat the 10-count, a few shots shortly thereafter caused an end to the fight.
Makhmudov has been building his resume up in recent years with finish wins. He appeared on a Top Rank card three months ago, where he earned a first-round win against Raphael Akpejiori.
Wright was given a fight against Makhmudov after putting together a pair of knockout wins over the past year. Saturday was his fifth loss through 26 pro fights.
Moses Itauma didn’t need much time to score his sixth win as a pro, beating Istvan Bernath in the first round of their fight on Saturday night.
A lead jab from Itauma dropped Bernath in the second minute of the bout. Bernath was able to return to his feet after this shot, but follow-up strikes that Itauma landed – including a right uppercut and a couple of hooks to the body – made the referee step in and stop the fight.
Itauma, still in his rookie year as a pro, has now scored six victories. Bernath is the first boxer that Itauma has faced with a record above .500 since four fights ago.
Bernath was fighting to come back from his sole pro loss, which was a fourth-round knockout loss to Terrell Jamal Woods from December of last year.
Bakole, McGann win early in the evening
Martin Bakole earned his 20th professional victory on Saturday night, picking up a fourth-round stoppage against Carlos Takam.
Bakole backed Takam up with a series of shots in the fourth frame of the contest. It was most notably a left hook to the body from Bakole that kept landing and was visibly bothering Takam. After Takam’s corner made the decision to throw in the towel, the referee stepped in and called an end to the bout.
Bakole is now on a nine-fight winning streak, with seven of those appearances ending via stoppage. After the fight, Bakole said that an injury in this fight forced him to only train for two weeks in the lead-up to this bout: “I showed that I’m a warrior.”
Takam has now lost in three of his past five appearances since 2020.
In a non-televised bout, undefeated super welterweight prospect stopped Alcibiaden Duran early with a clean left hook knockout.
Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou results, highlights, discussion
- Tyson Fury def. Francis Ngannou via split decision (95-94 Ngannou, 96-93 Fury & 95-94 Fury): Heavyweight
- Fabio Wardley def. David Adeley via TKO at 2:43 in Round 7: Heavyweight
- Joseph Parker def. Simon Kean via KO at 2:04 of Round 3: Heavyweight
- Arslanbek Makhmudov def. Junior Anthony Wright via TKO at 1:10 in Round 1: Heavyweight
- Moses Itauma def. Istvan Bernath via TKO at 1:53 of Round 1: Heavyweight
- Martin Bakole def. Carlos Takam via TKO at 2:15 of Round 4: Heavyweight
- Jack McGann def. Alcibiaden Duran via TKO at 0:37 of Round 2: Super Welterweight
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