Thursday, July 18, 2024

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou enters top 10 of WBC rankings after loss to Tyson Fury

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Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is officially a ranked boxer. The World Boxing Council has ranked Ngannou at No. 10 after he nearly pulled off the biggest upset in sports history against Tyson Fury on Oct. 28.

The WBC announced Ngannou’s ranking at their 2023 convention on Wednesday. It is a rare decision for the organization to rank a fighter with no professional boxing wins. Ngannou’s ranking is significant because it means that he can now challenge for the WBC heavyweight championship against Fury or Oleksandr Usyk in the aftermath of their expected showdown for undisputed status.

Here’s what the rest of the top 10 looks like (with Fury at the top as champion):

WBC top 10 heavyweight rankings

  1. Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs)
  2. Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs)
  3. Arslanbek Makhmudov (18-0, 17 KOs)
  4. Frank Sanchez (23-0, 16 KOs)
  5. Efe Ajagba (19-1, 14 KOs)
  6. Jared Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs)
  7. Martin Bakole (20-1, 15 KOs)
  8. Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KOs)
  9. Otto Wallin (26-1-1, 14 KOs)
  10. Francis Ngannou (0-1)

Fury (34-0-1) was widely expected to sorely dominate Ngannou (0-1) in a non-title crossover fight that was more spectacle than skill. Yet Ngannou knocked down Fury in Round 3 and was surprisingly competitive from bell to bell. Ngannou ultimately lost a split decision across 10 rounds.

Ngannou’s inspiring performance against Fury was a refreshing change from the familiar script of former UFC champs boxing. Conor McGregor and Tyron Woodley were stopped by Floyd Mayweather and Jake Paul, respectively. Anderson Silva looked impressive against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr but was knocked down by Paul in a decision loss, as was Nate Diaz. Ngannou’s success has spurred new interest in boxing and mixed rules fights against the likes of Fury, Usyk, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.

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