“Exactly Why I Don’t Watch Boxing! C’mon Man!” | LeBron James Joins Those That Think Francis Ngannou Beat Tyson Fury

Boxing has taken a lot of L’s recently.

First, SHOWTIME announced its departure from the boxing business following HBO’s exit and premium cable’s investment in the sport. Then, influencer boxing and hybrid boxing matches like Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis or Jake Paul vs. Nick Diaz started tainting the fantasy matchup game.

Now, the highly anticipated heavyweight fight between WBC and lineal world boxing champion Tyson Fury vs. former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has polarized the world. Fury took a split decision in a match closer than expected in the newly built Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Down Goes Fury

It was supposed to be a one-sided match, with Fury getting the better of Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut. Instead, Fury was bleeding in the second round from a cut on his forehead. Then he hit the floor from a pretty left hook that knocked the 6’9 champion down in the third round. The remaining stanzas of the ten-round affair saw Fury struggle mightily against Ngannou, which, for many, skewed the court of public opinion to Ngannou’s side.

In the end, Fury won the fight via split decision, with judges Juan Carlos Pelayo (96-93) and Alan Krebs (95-94) scoring the fight for Fury while Ed Gamer had it 95-94 for Ngannou. Although the fight left many polarized about the judges’ decision, it was a watershed moment for Ngannou, who toppled the boxing giant in perceiving his dominance.

“No, that definitely wasn’t in the script,” Fury said during his post-fight interview in the ring. “Francis is a hell of a fighter, strong, big puncher, a lot better boxer than we all thought he would ever be. … Listen, he’s a very awkward man and he’s a good puncher, and I respect him a lot – before the fight and afterwards.”

Although the 6-foot-9, 277¾-pound Fury’s WBC world title was not at stake during the fight, he said Ngannou gave him “probably one of me toughest fights in the last 10 years.”

The Outrage

Immediately, social media exploded at the judge’s decision. Even LeBron James posted, “Exactly why I don’t watch boxing! C’mon man!” with a face-palming emoji.

Ngannou heavily prepared for the match. Aside from leaving the UFC while a heavyweight champion to create business opportunities that he could control better, he enlisted the “baddest man on the planet,” Mike Tyson as one of his trainers. The fact that the 6-foot-4, 272-pounder was able to keep Fury on his toes for the whole match is nothing short of spectacular.

“I feel fantastic. I’m very happy,” Ngannou said post-fight. “It didn’t go my way … I’m just a fighter and I’m ready to fight any time soon. We can run it back, and I’m sure I’m going to get better. This was my first boxing match – great experience.”

The event did nothing to renew the public’s trust in boxing, and whether those who thought Ngannou won didn’t understand the mechanics of boxing scoring, anything less than a draw gave the sport another black eye in the eyes of the public.

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