In a thrilling showdown in Saudi Arabia, Tyson Fury faced off against Francis Ngannou. This bout marked the mixed martial artist’s transition into the world of boxing.
Adesanya was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the highly anticipated bout between heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
The bout was nothing short of spectacular, with Ngannou even managing to floor Fury before a controversial split-decision verdict was reached.
While many in the boxing community feel that Fury should have been handed the loss for the match, Usyk was just happy that his next opponent won. Following the main event, Usyk and Fury squared off in the same stadium where they had a contract to compete before the end of March.
Usyk told Boxing King Media: “At the knockdown, I said, ‘Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah – Francis, be careful, please!’.
“I said, ‘Tyson, jab, jab, move, jab!’ I said. It’s true, I was a little bit nervous that our fight was possibly in jeopardy. I even started to shout out to him some small things, like: ‘Use your jab, jab him faster.’ That’s it.”
Despite the unorthodox scene of a future opponent cheering on and advising his rival, Usyk’s motivations are crystal clear. The world anticipates the showdown between Usyk and Fury, with the prospect of crowning the undisputed champion in the heavyweight division.
Usyk stated: “It might look weird when my future opponent is fighting, and I’m here cheering him on and backing him, shouting some tips for him. It looks weird probably, but from the other point of view: Myself, my team, my country, the whole world wants to see [our] fight happening, so that’s why it’s important we do everything possible to make it happen.”
The winner of the match between Usyk and Fury would become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000.
Initially slated for 23 December, Fury vs Usyk now looks to find its stage in January or February, following Fury’s lackluster performance against Ngannou. Promoter Frank Warren acknowledges the need for additional preparation.