- Fans blow up at time given to Fury to recover from knockdown
- Others argue Fury beat the count and was fine to continue
- Fury clinched a controversial win by split decision
The Gypsy King took on the former UFC champion in Riyadh in one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of the year, but only narrowly won the fight by split decision as the judges scored it 94-95, 96-93, 95-94.
Ngannou left Riyadh with much of the credit and had Fury on the ropes for large parts of the fight, dropping the 35-year-old boxer to the canvas in the third round.
Some fans are now questioning the amount of time Fury was given to recover from the knockdown, sparking heated debate on social media.
A viral video clip on social media shows the referee reaching the count of eight a full 16 seconds after Fury was knocked down.
Ngannou lost narrowly by split decision, despite knocking down the Gypsy King in the third round (pictured)
Boxing rules require the timekeeper outside of the ring to immediately begin calling off the seconds when a fighter is knocked down, with the boxer given 10 seconds to prove he or she can continue to fight.
After ordering the other boxer to a neutral corner of the ring, the referee is required to pick up the count from the timekeeper.
However, according to many boxing commissions, the count doesn’t necessarily have to be 10 seconds going strictly by a stopwatch, but rather how the referee counts to 10.
That hasn’t stopped fans from protesting, with many insisting Ngannou was short-changed.
‘And that is how boxing is corrupt for that exact reason! It needs to be a 10 second timer when someone is knocked down and not the referee with a ten count! And needs a global boxing commission!’ wrote on fan on X.
‘Easily rigged for the whole world to see,’ replied another.
‘Seems like Fury always gets extra time to get up!’ said a third.
Aussie boxer Nedal ‘Skinny’ Hussein, who was robbed of victory by a corrupt referee in his fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2000, also slammed the count.
Fury said the fight with Ngannou was one of the toughest he’s had in the last decade
He wrote on an Instagram story: ‘The @wbcboro at it again with the long count. @wbcboxing gotta replace the dirty officials.’
However, the majority of fight fans didn’t have a problem with the officiating, pointing out that Fury was on his feet fairly quickly and was fine to continue the bout.
‘Clean on his feet within 5 seconds didn’t look like it affected him at all,’ wrote one fan.
‘It was a flash knockdown, fury was up in 5 seconds. This is just reaching nonsense,’ replied another.
Fury paid respect to Ngannou in his post-bout interview.
He called the former UFC heavyweight champion ‘a hell of a fighter’ and admitted it was one of his toughest fights of the last decade.
‘That definitely wasn’t in the script. Francis is a hell of a fighter, a strong, great puncher,’ he said.