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Eddie Hearn reveals what really happened between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou with Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo watching on… after the Gypsy King gatecrashed Saudi royal reception

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Eddie Hearn has shared what really happened between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury after the Gypsy King gatecrashed a reception held by Chairman of General Authority for Entertainment Turki Alakshikh ahead of Friday’s ‘Knockout Chaos’ clash. 

The Cameroonian heavyweight is preparing to fight Hearn’s fighter Anthony Joshua in the showpiece bout in Riyadh, but his old foe Fury stole the spotlight when he confronted him at Alalshikh’s house on Tuesday evening. 

Mail Sport reported on Wednesday that Fury had accused Ngannou of calling him a ‘coward’, which the latter denied, but warned the Briton: ‘If we ever fight in the street or anywhere else outside the boxing ring, you will be in serious trouble’. 

The explosive war of words between the two fighters took place in front of a glittering crowd including Saudi-based footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo

Hearn was also there to witness the fracas, telling Mail Sport that the brouhaha had been ‘scary for a while’. 

Eddie Hearn opened up about the stand-off between Francis Ngannou (right) and Tyson Fury (centre-right) at Turki Alalshikh's house (centre)

Eddie Hearn opened up about the stand-off between Francis Ngannou (right) and Tyson Fury (centre-right) at Turki Alalshikh’s house (centre)

The Gypsy King cut a fractious figure when he accused Ngannou of calling him a coward

The Gypsy King cut a fractious figure when he accused Ngannou of calling him a coward

Also in attendance at the glittering reception was Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo

Also in attendance at the glittering reception was Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo 

‘He was on great form this week, Tyson Fury, obviously not fighting this week,’ Hearn said. 

‘I feel like I didn’t know if what happened in the room stayed in a room, but there’s already been some reports about Fury letting his feelings be known to Ngannou, which is true. He did stick it on him.

‘And it was a little bit scary for a little bit scary for a while, a lot of big men in that room last night.’

But Hearn’s fighter, true to form, stayed out of the fray, with the promoter noting that he was ‘sitting in the corner, just observing’ the scene he described as ‘very surreal’. 

‘It’s become almost tradition here in Saudi Arabia that a couple of nights before the fight, we go to His Excellency’s house,’ Hearn said of Tuesday night’s reception. ‘And all the fighters from the card are in one room. 

The Matchroom promoter seemed relived that Anthony Joshua had stayed above the fray

The Matchroom promoter seemed relived that Anthony Joshua had stayed above the fray

AJ kept himself to himself, chatting briefly to fellow fighters Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker

AJ kept himself to himself, chatting briefly to fellow fighters Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker

Fury is not fighting during his stint in Saudi Arabia and instead preparing for his blockbuster clash with Oleksandr Usyk

Fury is not fighting during his stint in Saudi Arabia and instead preparing for his blockbuster clash with Oleksandr Usyk

‘So yeah, definitely unique. And it’s almost like a last show of respect before it’s war time on Friday.’ 

Also taking part on Friday’s card are Joseph Parker and Zhilei Zhang, on the heels of the New Zealand heavyweight’s victory against Deontay Parker in the city last December, both of whom AJ chatted to – but the 34-year-old swerved a confrontation with one much-discussed future opponent

‘AJ kept himself to himself, Fury didn’t talk to him,’ Hearn confirmed. ‘He had a chat with Zhang, obviously he’s friendly with Parker. 

‘But yeah, (Fury) was causing a little bit of mischief but he was on good form. He was on very good form, and looked well, looked very fit considering now there’s quite a bit of time to the fight, but he seemed very motivated to meet (Oleksandr) Usyk on May 18.’

Also in the room was Hearn’s great rival – and Fury’s promoter – Frank Warren, head of Queensberry Promotions. 

But relations have cooled somewhat between the two rivals with the rise of big-money, efficiently organised fights in Saudi Arabia forcing the pair together. 

Hearn noted ‘worryingly’ that the pair might now have something close to a friendship. 

The 34-year-old and his Cameroonian opponent will meet in 'Knockout Chaos' on Friday night

The 34-year-old and his Cameroonian opponent will meet in ‘Knockout Chaos’ on Friday night

Hearn also shared details on his increasingly warm relationship with rival Frank Warren (left)

Hearn also shared details on his increasingly warm relationship with rival Frank Warren (left)

‘I better not tell my old man (founder of Matchroom Sport Barry Hearn), they really didn’t get on either, but my dad always said to me, “you’ll really enjoy Frank’s company” and I do.

‘The first thing he said to me when I saw him this week was, “what a win for your boy in New York”. We share a passion for boxing, we love the sport, we love the game, we love the business, we love to win. 

‘Although we’re friendly and coming together, the five-v-five (Queensberry vs Matchroom five-fight card) will be vicious out of the ring because we’re desperate to win. 

‘I can’t lose to Queensbury and vice versa, so it’s gonna be it’s going to be really competitive and fun, and we’ve got a lot planned for the launch of that massive event.’