Former boxing champion and renowned analyst Andre Ward is still in shock from what Francis Ngannou did in the boxing ring against Tyson Fury.
Despite being a massive betting underdog, Ngannou fought the lineal heavyweight champion to a split decision in their 10-round boxing match in Saudi Arabia. With the former UFC champ and current PFL fighter eyeing future boxing bouts with other big names, Ward won’t count Ngannou out against any heavyweight boxer moving forward.
“Styles make fights, and we have to see, but after what he did with Fury, I’m not going to write him off anymore,” Ward said on The MMA Hour. “It’s a wait and see proposition for me at this point.”
Despite being completely counted out in the buildup to his fight with Fury, Ngannou performed well beyond expectations, even flooring Fury with a big shot in the third round, leaving many believing that Ngannou won the fight.
In the end, Fury got two of the judges’ cards in his favor. Ward, at first, wasn’t even watching the fight because he expected a Fury landslide. But after a cardio workout, Ward immediately got to the television to watch what many saw as the unthinkable heading into the fight.
“I didn’t see that at all,” Ward said. “I’m typically right on, or somewhere in the ballpark, and I was at a gym and I didn’t give him a shot in the first two or three rounds. I’m looking at everybody, and I’m like, ‘Fury is gonna carry him. He’s going to give the people in Saudi their money’s worth and then he’s going to step it up and finish him midway through the fight, [round] six, seven, somewhere around there.’
“I get on the Stairmaster, I’m doing my 20-30 minutes, but I’m looking over and I’m like, I don’t see anybody reacting. The fight is not over. So I yell over, I’m like, ‘The fight is still going?’ And the look on their face — they look, they say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s going and Fury may be losing.’ I’m like, ‘No.’ I get off the Stairmaster, right after that he gets dropped. I just couldn’t believe it, and it was a legitimate knockdown. I don’t know what to make of it.
“I got to give him his credit. He deserves every bit of what he is getting. I know he’s going to have another big fight or two. He said he made more money in that fight than he did in his whole UFC career. That’s what it’s about, especially as you start getting older. I don’t have the words. I don’t know how that happened.”