Eddie Hearn wasn’t in Saudi Arabia, but he certainly had thoughts on the biggest boxing matchup of the weekend after Tyson Fury squeaked by former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou via split decision.
“You have one guy who has never boxed before, fighting a guy who also looked like he never boxed before,” the Matchroom Boxing promoter told DAZN. “I can’t believe what we were watching — a complete novice in everybody’s book just beat Tyson Fury. Ngannou won that fight. He dropped him. I mean, they did very little in the back end of the fight, but Fury looked like … you’re talking about the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.”
Fury closed as a -1400 betting favorite against the massive underdog Ngannou, however the fight certainly did not play out that way. The current PFL heavyweight was competitive with the lineal boxing champion from start to finish, even scoring a knockdown on Fury in the third round in what turned out to be the bout’s most impactful moment.
“I watched it back and it didn’t even look like a big shot,” Hearn said. “Respect to Francis Ngannou. He stepped in the ring, he’s never boxed before — I still think he gets beat by many levels below that, but respect to him.”
After the victory, Fury is now expected to face Oleksandr Usyk, the Ukranian heavyweight who holds the sport’s other major world titles, in an undisputed championship fight. The two competitors even faced off following the main event bout on Saturday.
Hearn believes Ngannou deserves a rematch with Fury, but says his fighter Anthony Joshua would love the chance to face Fury — or even Ngannou — in the aftermath of the shocking 10-round contest.
“Forget Fury-Usyk,” Hearn said. “Forget it, because, one, Ngannou just beat him. You either give him the rematch, or let [Joshua] end his career. Six rounds is all we need there. But if Fury has to fight Usyk, let A.J. deal with Ngannou. Three rounds is all we need there.
“We never even expected to mention Ngannou’s name, but he’s earned that right. He beat Tyson Fury — and I see people saying Ngannou would beat Anthony Joshua. Just watch, make that fight and see what happens, three rounds is all we need. But if we want to fight Tyson Fury and end his career, that’s not a problem either.
“What a mess. What a mess we’ve made of boxing tonight. But what a spectacle.”