Making his professional boxing debut, Ngannou squared off with the reigning WBC heavyweight champion in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Despite coming up short on the scorecards, Ngannou earned a heap of respect within the boxing community after knocking down ‘The Gypsy King’ in the third round.
In light of Ngannou’s impressive performance, the WBC chose to award the Cameroonian with a top-ten ranking.
Francis Ngannou did an outstanding job against the WBC Heavyweight Champion and the WBC Board of Governors has agreed to rank him as No. 10 in the Heavyweight division,” the council announced on its official X account.
One judge scored the contest 95-94 in favor of Ngannou but was overruled by tallies of 96-93 and 95-94 for Fury. Fury’s WBC heavyweight title wasn’t on the line in the 10-round boxing match.
On February 17, Fury will return to the ring for a long-awaited title unification clash with Oleksandr Usyk, the reigning WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion. The bout was originally scheduled for December 23, but after the beating that ‘The Gypsy King’ took against Francis Ngannou, the bout was pushed back to early 2024.
The December 23 card in Saudi Arabia will move forward with heavyweight standouts Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua competing in separate contests. Wilder will face Otto Wallin while Joshua meets former heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker according to a report from ESPN.