Ryan Garcia Declares Francis Ngannou His Heavyweight Champion
Ryan Garcia, the 25-year-old boxing sensation, is no stranger to being called out by fighters from different sports. While his in-ring skills have drawn attention from pugilistic contemporaries, it’s his social media presence that has garnered even more visibility. Notably, fighters from the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), particularly the UFC, have expressed interest in challenging boxers, sparking debates over the feasibility of such crossover contests.
The trend of fighters crossing boundaries was initiated by Conor McGregor’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather in 2017. Although Mayweather secured a 10th-round knockout victory, it didn’t deter UFC fighters from calling out boxers. Among them, Francis Ngannou stood out, expressing a desire to transition from the octagon to the boxing ring, with his sights set on Tyson Fury. However, his contract with the UFC prevented him from pursuing both MMA and boxing simultaneously.
Once Ngannou’s contract with the UFC concluded, he seized the opportunity to enter the world of boxing. While the idea of a matchup between Ngannou and Fury initially elicited laughter and skepticism within the boxing community, it became a reality in Saudi Arabia last Saturday.
Ryan Garcia, despite his doubts about Ngannou’s chances, tuned in to watch the contest. He wasn’t anticipating a competitive fight but remained curious about the outcome. The opening round saw both fighters cautiously feeling each other out, while in the second round, Garcia nearly toppled his television set as Ngannou knocked down his opponent.
Throughout the bout, Ngannou continued to have his moments, even though Fury mounted a comeback. Ultimately, the judges delivered a close split decision in favor of Fury, though Garcia isn’t overly concerned about the result on the scorecards. With his experience in the world of boxing, Garcia understands how to score a fight.
To Ryan Garcia, the official outcome doesn’t matter much. He has taken a different perspective, considering Francis Ngannou as his “heavyweight champ of the world.” This declaration reflects the ongoing blurring of lines between boxing and MMA, where fighters from different disciplines continue to explore exciting crossover opportunities.