Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, suffered a shocking third-round knockdown at the hands of Ngannou, a former UFC fighter who had never fought an official boxing match before Saturday.
The Englishman recovered to out-jab Ngannou the rest of the way, but fans – including the Los Angeles Lakers superstar – weren’t pleased to see the former UFC heavyweight champion denied the win.
‘Exactly why i don’t watch boxing!’ James wrote on X. ‘C’mon man!’
He was not alone in his dissatisfaction.
LeBron James was among many viewers who were upset by the judges’ decision on Saturday
Francis Ngannou knocks down Tyson Fury (right) during the third round on Saturday night
LeBron James is admittedly not a boxing fan – and that doesn’t appear to be changing
The decision was met with boos around Boulevard Hall in Riyadh as it was announced that the UFC fighter had lost.
Fans took to social media to express their shock at the judges’ decision, with several writing that Ngannou was ‘robbed’.
Fans shared their opinions online, with one stating that it was ‘daylight robbery’ for Ngannou, and others joining in that the Cameroon national was ‘robbed’.
Another added: ‘[Oleksandr] Usyk would absolutely destroy Tyson Fury if he fights anything like he did tonight.’
‘Absolute travesty, I love Tyson Fury but he’s never ever won that,’ another wrote.
Following a brilliant effort from Ngannou throughout all ten rounds, Fury paid respect to him in his post-fight interview.
He called Ngannou ‘a hell of a fighter’ and admitted it was one of his toughest fights of the last decade.
Many felt that Ngannou was the real winner on Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Fury was announced at the winner of the heavyweight fight against Francis Ngannou
‘That definitely wasn’t in the script. Francis is a hell of a fighter, a strong, great puncher,’ Fury said.
On being knocked down in the third round, Fury said: ‘I got caught round the back of the head. I wasn’t hurt. I got up and got back to my boxing.’
The fight was hotly contested, with fans calling for Ngannou to venture into boxing after impressing fans in his first ever professional boxing match.
Fury retained his unbeaten run, with the judges calling it by split decision. One gave it to Francis Ngannou 95-94, one 96-93 to Fury, and the deciding judge had it 95-94 to Fury.