WBC defend Ngannou’s top-10 ranking | ‘He almost beat Fury!’

Daily News
4 Min Read
WBC defend Ngannou’s top-10 ranking | ‘He almost beat Fury!’

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says he stands by the decision to rank Francis Ngannou in the top 10 despite the former UFC heavyweight champion’s crushing knockout defeat to Anthony Joshua.

Ngannou was placed at No 10 in the rankings by the WBC on the back of his impressive boxing debut against Tyson Fury, which saw him record a stunning third-round knockdown of the undefeated world champion in a split decision defeat back in October.

Such was the lasting impression of his performance that Ngannou had been backed by some to trouble Joshua, only for the former unified world champion to assert his dominance with three brutal knockdowns on the way to victory in Saudi Arabia.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Who detonated a more explosive right-hand KO, Joshua or Carl Froch?

“100 per cent [we stand by the decision to rank him in the top 10], just by facts. Everybody criticised the WBC, myself, the ratings committee,” said Sulaiman, speaking to Sky Sports.

“They jumped the gun and a month later the fight is announced against Joshua and nobody said anything. It is about tendency, we don’t go or rule or make decisions by popularity. It is not a popularity contest.

“We go by facts, by rules and the ranking of Ngannou was perfectly supported by the WBC rules which is clear in the criteria from rankings that we consider the activity of the fighter in other contact sports.

“We have ranked so many muay thai fighters that convert to international boxing.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

See what Joshua said to Ngannou in the ring after their fight

Ngannou stepped away from the UFC at the beginning of 2023 in order to seek opportunities in boxing, while also signing with the Professional Fighters League in view of continuing his MMA career.

He insisted on Friday that he is not done pursuing his childhood dreams with the gloves, with Joshua also encouraging his rival to stay in the ring. It remains to be seen what lies next for the 37-year-old, who has also agreed to fight PFL heavyweight champion Renan Ferreira.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Joshua stopped Ngannou with an identical shot that has caused massive knockouts earlier in his career. Here’s a look at some of AJ’s big hits over the years

“Nobody says anything but then Ngannou is such a big name it becomes a controversy and then comes Joshua and knocks him out in two rounds,” said Sulaiman.

“[Joe] Frazier was knocked out in two rounds by [George] Foreman. Does that make Frazier a bad fighter that should have not been the champion after beating Ali?

“Ngannou came close to beating the WBC champion Fury, knocked him down, and it was close to a split decision.

“Joshua looked great, that is why he is the No 1-ranked contender in the WBC and I stand by the ranking of Ngannou.

“We are doing the rankings for this month as we speak and we will see where the committee places Ngannou.”

Share This Article
Leave a comment