The former UFC heavyweight champion may have suffered a split-decision loss, but the manner of the performance was enough for some in the boxing community to give the victory to Ngannou. After having knocked down Fury in the third round, the MMA fighter managed to continue the momentum until the final bell to stand toe-to-toe with the WBC heavyweight champion.
Naturally, there were question marks over Ngannou’s next steps. There is a realistic chance that a Fury rematch could occur later down the line. Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua have been mentioned as other opponents by Malik Scott and Eddie Hearn, respectively. And yet, the MMA fighter is expected to make his PFL debut in 2024. With that being said, Ngannou was open to competing in both sports moving forward.
“I can do both. Nothing is stopping me from doing both. If I have the skill for both of them, why not? As for right now, I have a deal with PFL and I’m intending to fight MMA again. I love it. I’m more comfortable. I still love it. I might do some MMA fights, but I’m still going to do boxing.
“I never intended to just step over and do one fight and just go out. That wasn’t the plan at all, never. The plan is still the same. I’m going to fight sometime in February or March. Maybe in the cage or in the ring, but I’m going to fight. I already basically have both, and we are working on what’s going to work better, Ngannou stated
Outside of that, Ngannou’s reaction to the decision was clear. The challenger admitted that the decision may have been influenced by the expectation that Fury would face Oleksandr Usyk, which is why a loss for the Gypsy King would have derailed those plans. And given that talks for the undisputed heavyweight championship had broken down earlier, there may have been too much on the line.
“There’s a structured business out there and you need to do a lot to destroy it. That’s why it would be an upset. I wasn’t expecting to win like that in a decision. But it is what it is…I think it’s a shame for boxing though. I think it’s a shame for this sport.
“And those judges or whoever, they should be sanctioned. Again, I want to understand why those judges judge like that, because for me, to be honest, I don’t care that much about that decision, but I think those kinds of decisions mess up a lot of people’s careers,” Ngannou
Those comments were echoed by Carl Froch, who was clear that Ngannou had been robbed of a victory.
“I think the reason that the fight was in Tyson Fury’s favor last night was purely because this fight they’ve been talking about on the 23rd of December. Tyson Fury, Olexsandy Usyk unification fight, Undisputed—that’s what we want to see and that’s what we should be getting. That’s the reason I think that Ngannou didn’t get the nod last night. For me, it’s corruption. It’s corruption at the highest level,” Froch said