WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury survived a scare against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to claim a split decision win.
Ngannou, who made his career in mixed martial arts and was making his boxing debut, knocked Fury down in the third round, however Fury recovered and did enough to sway two of the three judges with 96-93 and 95-94 cards in favour of Fury, with one judge scoring it 95-94 for Ngannou.
While Fury’s championship belt was not on the line, it was a bout that counted towards the fighters’ professional records, with Fury improving to 34-0-1 with 24 knockouts.
“That definitely wasn’t in the script,” Fury said. “Francis is a hell of a fighter – stronger, big puncher and a lot better boxer than we all thought he would ever be.”
“He was very awkward. He wasn’t coming forward. He was standing back waiting for me to land my punches and then try to counter. He’s a good fighter. He’s given me probably one of my toughest fights in the last 10 years.”
- Tyson Fury def. Francis Ngannou via split decision (94-95, 96-93, 95-94)
- Fabio Wardley def. David Adeleye via seventh-round TKO
- Joseph Parker def. Simon Kean via third-round TKO
- Arslanbek Makhmudov def. Junior Anthony Wright via first-round TKO
- Moses Itauma def. Istvan Bernath via first-round TKO