Francis Ngannou accepted a big challenge for the first boxing match in his career. His opponent was Tyson Fury. He lost by a split decision with scores of 95-94, 94-95 and 93-96. Ngannou believes that this match was a robbery. The Cameroonian emphasizes that he deserved to win.
On the other hand, he is aware that his victory would spoil the image of boxing in the eyes of many. “Yes, I had the same feelings [as fans]—Definitely, I was robbed. But, also, I have an understanding that you can’t just walk in and disrupt a system like that.
I think it was a very bad look for boxing, for everything, and there was a lot of business involved. So some judges just sacrificed themselves and take the hit, and save the face. But they know that that was a dirty job. There wasn’t even a judging, they wasn’t even judging those fights.
There was just, like, ‘Okay, we are not going to lose.’ I think even if there was a knockout, they would have found a way to make me [lose] that fight. Because I should have won that fight. The guy gave me elbow… and the referee didn’t even say anything because if that elbow had hurt me, I’m sure they would have count that as a punch and give him a decision, right?"- Ngannou said.
Francis was aware of the challenge he was getting into long before the fight began. However, his desire and will were stronger than anything else. In addition, the Cameroonian is an experienced fighter who knows what the fighting world is all about.
He had the opportunity to meet in the ring with the star of boxing, he did not win, but he earned the respect of everyone with his efforts and qualities. “But I was prepared. I knew what I was stepping into. I wasn’t going to let them get in my mind or to get me frustrated.
I was just going there to fight… It seems like at the end even they were getting frustrated because even that elbow was out of frustration. I don’t care, I was just about [getting] the big fight, fight the big guy, and go there and prove people wrong.
And I did, and I think I’m very happy with my performance and what I did. Yes, the result wasn’t there. But for some guy that is out there building his record and working hard, to get out there and have those kind of outcomes that might have a huge impact in his career—is not fair at all." Fans are not happy about this outcome, especially because they believe that Francis could have been the winner.
As the echoes of the fight gone, Francis's journey continued, enriched by the lessons learned in that intense fight. His story became an inspiration to many fighters and a reminder that victory is not counted only in wins and losses but in the passion to achieve your goal.
"It doesn’t represent boxing very well, because boxing is not known as a noble art. But it seems like the people behind it are not noble at all. They have nothing noble. When I saw one of those calls, there’s nothing noble here.
This is like fucking robbery. You’re not even ashamed of it. Somebody scored 93-96 and I’m like okay, what fight are we scoring? But I think we got to the point where we don’t care”.