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Following his controversial loss to undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Francis Ngannou was officially listed as part of the WBC boxing rankings on Wednesday.
According to ESPN, Ngannou is ranked 10th among heavyweights, which is no small feat given that the Fury fight was his boxing debut.
Ngannou, who is an MMA star and a former UFC heavyweight champion, lost the Oct. 28 bout by split decision, as one judge scored it 95-94 in his favor, while the others scored it 95-94 and 96-93 for Fury.
During the 10-round, non-title fight against Fury in Saudi Arabia, Ngannou far exceeded expectations and even knocked Fury down once, but the 35-year-old Brit eventually settled in and did just enough to edge out Ngannou.
Then 37-year-old from Cameroon is 17-3 with 12 knockouts in his MMA career, and he won each of his final six UFC fights, including victories over Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic and Ciryl Gane.
Following the win over Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022, Ngannou and UFC were unable to come to terms on a new contract, so Ngannou vacated the heavyweight title, left the promotion and signed with PFL.
Before competing in his first fight for PFL, Ngannou agreed to a boxing match against Fury and took on legendary heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson as a mentor and trainer.
The preparation from Tyson clearly served Ngannou well, as he came agonizingly close to pulling off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Given how well he performed in his boxing debut, Ngannou told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he wants his next fight to be in the boxing ring as well.
Ngannou left the door open to go back to MMA afterward, but he stressed the importance of building on what he was able to do in his first boxing match.
As for Fury, he is scheduled to fight WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in a unification bout in February.
If the 34-0-1 Fury wins that fight, it could potentially set the stage for a rematch against Ngannou with the titles on the line.
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