In a crossover boxing match Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ngannou lost a close split decision to Fury. The decision was disputed by some, including Ngannou, who thinks he should’ve gotten the nod in his professional boxing debut.
“If he was being honest, (Fury) would say I won that fight,” Ngannou said in a post-fight interview with broadcast partner ESPN. “I won that fight. There’s no question about it. Even before getting here, I knew if this fight gets to a decision, I’m not winning – not because I didn’t do good, (but) because I’m the new guy in the house. I come here and I just want to kick into people’s business. There’s a structure of business out there and you need to do a lot to destroy it. … I wasn’t just expecting to win like that in a decision. But it is what it is. I do my job. I know that I did everything I could’ve done. I did my best. Maybe next time I should just do better to convince people.”
Ngannou, who shockingly knocked down Fury with a left hook in Round 3, received a 95-94 scorecard from judge Ed Garner. Judges Alan Krebs (95-94) and Juan Carlos Pelayo (96-93) scored the bout in favor of Fury.
Even though the record books have a “W” next to Fury’s name, Ngannou thinks he gained invaluable experience in his first boxing outing – the first of potentially many.
“This is really my first time to fight and to do a 10-round boxing match of straight boxing,” Ngannou said. “I tell myself that I didn’t do bad against the No. 1 heavyweight in the world. I’m just going to go back and focus on that and have at least that experience to work on it – that feeling to work with it and get prepared for the next time, because I think this gets me even more excited and hungry to prove I was wounded, but I realized I can bite.”
For now, Ngannou isn’t committed to either MMA or boxing. He’s committed to both. As for his next move, it’s a little murky. Ngannou signed with PFL in May and plans on honoring that contract with an MMA fight in the near future.
“I’m a combination (fighter),” Ngannou said. “I can do both. Nothing is stopping me from doing both. If I have the skill for both, then why not? As for right now, I have a deal with PFL. I’m intending to fight MMA again. I love it. Not that I’m more comfortable, but I still love it. I might do some MMA fights, but I’m going to still do boxing. I never intended to just step over and do one fight and go out. That wasn’t the plan at all – never. The plan stays the same.
“… I’m really going to fight sometime in February or March. It might be in the cage or in the ring, but I’m going to fight. I already basically have both, and we’re working on what’s going to work better.”
No matter which way it’s spun, Ngannou seemed to gain respect from every corner of the combat sports universe. If that’s untrue and doubt still remains in the mind of some, Ngannou isn’t focused on the negative thought-holders.
“A doubter is a doubter,” Ngannou said. “They’re meant to doubt. It doesn’t matter what happens – they’re going to doubt. So don’t focus on doubters, focus on the believing in yourself. Focus on your self-believing on yourself instead of focusing on other people around. … Some people doubt. Some people hate. They are meant to do just that. They’re like a snake. They’re meant to bite. Then you, you’re meant to do what you do. You do your sh*t and they do their sh*t. I can’t do anything about that.”
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.