Martial art heavyweight champion turned boxer Francis Ngannou has insisted he did not lose to Tyson Fury but was rather robbed in the fight even as he prepares for a showdown against Nigeria-British pugillist Anthony Joshua on March 8 in Saudi Arabia.
The former UFC heavyweight champion surprised the Gypsy King, and the boxing world, with a performance that included a third-round knockdown of the Brit.
Despite losing the fight, Ngannou silenced all skeptics who questioned whether he could compete against Fury in his first professional fight.
And he has maintained that he was unfairly denied a notable victory, while insisting he has no intention of wading into sports politics.
“I’ve been saying this since that night, but I was robbed.” The 37-year-old told Mail Sport. ‘But I think I also contributed a lot to that fight.
Francis Ngannou surprised Tyson Fury and knocked him down in the third round of their clash in October.
“To be honest, it was really cool, but it didn’t do anything to get me out of my chair. The Top 10 and all that, to be honest, I’m skeptical about getting involved in boxing politics.
‘I’m just here to find out the good fights and get them. What happens a lot is that boxing politics controls some fights and prevents big fights from happening, because everyone is worried about rankings or positions.
“They need to win, be like 20-0, even if that means they haven’t fought anyone.” Certainly that’s something I don’t really care about.
‘In combat sports it is always risky to fight. There is a risk that you could lose; of course you want to win. When you want to be a world champion, you will have to face the fiercest fighters, elite fighters who have the same dream as you. To keep your dream alive you have to kill someone.
Ngannou’s performance has catapulted him to the heart of the hotly contested heavyweight division: no longer an inconsequential attraction but a true contender in the class.
His next fight will pit him against a rejuvenated Joshua, who dismantled Otto Wallin last month. ‘The Predator’ admitted that he will no longer be able to benefit from being an unknown in his most ‘complex’ fight to date.
“Obviously the most complex one now is AJ because I haven’t fought him.” He added. He is the one who has not been discovered.