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Following his controversial loss to undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou was formally listed as a part of the WBC boxing rankings on Wednesday.
In keeping with ESPN, Ngannou is ranked tenth amongst heavyweights, which is not any small feat on condition that the Fury combat was his boxing debut.
Ngannou, who’s an MMA star and a former UFC heavyweight champion, misplaced the Oct. 28 bout by break up resolution, as one choose scored it 95-94 in his favor, whereas the others scored it 95-94 and 96-93 for Fury.
Through the 10-round, non-title combat towards Fury in Saudi Arabia, Ngannou far exceeded expectations and even knocked Fury down as soon as, however the 35-year-old Brit ultimately settled in and did simply sufficient to edge out Ngannou.
Then 37-year-old from Cameroon is 17-3 with 12 knockouts in his MMA profession, and he gained every of his closing six UFC fights, together with victories over Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic and Ciryl Gane.
Following the win over Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022, Ngannou and UFC have been unable to return to phrases on a brand new contract, so Ngannou vacated the heavyweight title, left the promotion and signed with PFL.
Earlier than competing in his first combat for PFL, Ngannou agreed to a boxing match towards Fury and took on legendary heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson as a mentor and coach.
The preparation from Tyson clearly served Ngannou effectively, as he got here agonizingly near pulling off what would have been one of many greatest upsets in boxing historical past.
Given how effectively he carried out in his boxing debut, Ngannou advised ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he needs his subsequent combat to be within the boxing ring as effectively.
Ngannou left the door open to return to MMA afterward, however he careworn the significance of constructing on what he was in a position to do in his first boxing match.
As for Fury, he’s scheduled to combat WBA (Tremendous), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in a unification bout in February.
If the 34-0-1 Fury wins that combat, it may doubtlessly set the stage for a rematch towards Ngannou with the titles on the road.