The outcome of Tyson Fury’s split-decision victory over former UFC champion Francis Ngannou has proved controversial - but the punch stats from the heavyweight crossover fight have revealed a different story.
Fury survived a knockdown and avoided the first loss of his professional career when he was named a split-decision winner – 94-95, 96-93, 95-94.
Ngannou, was making his boxing debut yet outfought Fury for much of the bout, as a stunned audience looked on in Riyadh.
The 37-year-old former UFC champion was a massive underdog in the main event in Riyadh but produced a superb performance with immense discipline and aggression, and many figures in the world of boxing declared that the “Predator” had been denied a rightful win.
But while Ngannou scored more power punches than his opponent – including with his stunning knockdown in the third round, clipping Fury on the top of the head with a fine left hook – stats have revealed that it was the “Gypsy King” who landed the most punches during the 10-round contest.
According to Compubox, Fury landed 71 of his 223 punches, while Ngannou only managed to connect with 59 from his 231 attempted shots.
Fury was also the more active fighter in six of the 10 rounds, with Ngannou edging three and another, the seventh round, equal.
The stats also show that Ngannou landed just six punches in the final two rounds compared to Fury’s 13, which have been the difference on the judges’ scorecards. However, Ngannou outstruck Fury in power shots, 37-32, throughout the fight.
Ngannou lost the decision, but won the night, outlanding Fury 37-32 in power shots and dropping Fury in round 3. Fury had a 71-59 edge in landed punches. Ngannou might want back the last 2 rounds, when he landed just 6 of 38 punches to 13 of 37 for Fury. pic.twitter.com/KmusCCvF9I
— CompuBox (@CompuBox) October 28, 2023
After the fight, Oleksandr Usyk entered the ring to face off with Fury, whom he is contracted to fight next. Ukrainian Usyk, unbeaten like Fury, holds the unified heavyweight boxing titles. The pair have been rumoured to clash in Riyadh on 23 December, though Fury and his promoter Frank Warren played coy after the fight with Ngannou.
“That definitely wasn’t in the script,” said Fury. “[Ngannou] is a lot better of a boxer than we thought he’d be. He’s a very awkward man, and he’s a good puncher, and I respect him a lot. He was very awkward, he wasn’t coming forward; he was waiting for me to throw my punches then looking to counter.
“[The knockdown] is a part of boxing. I got caught behind the head. I got up and it was alright; I got back to my boxing.
“I don’t know how close [the fight] was, but I got the win and that’s what it is. I’ve been out of the ring a long time again. You can see it in here – ring rust, everything. No excuses, though. He’s cut me across the eye there. It was a good, rough fight. Perfect.”
Usyk, 36, then said: “Let’s go. I’m going to be fighting him, amazing. It’s a big fight, the whole world wants this fight. We’re back in this ring, 23 December, thank you very much, I go to sleep.”
Fury said: “It’s been going on a long time, let’s do the fight – over here, for all the belts, the undisputed title of the world. Listen, it’s not up to me; we’d go now. These guys will sort it out, it’ll be my next fight guaranteed.”
But Warren added: “I don’t think the date will be announced just yet. This fight is on. Both fighters want it. Tyson’s got a cut there. We’ll see how it heals.
“It’s the biggest fight in boxing. Everybody wants to see it. They’ll see it in Saudi, it’ll break all box-office records.”