Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn feels that the anticipation for a rematch between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou has surpassed the undisputed clash between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
The value of that fight has plummeted: Eddie Hearn on Fury vs. Usyk
On 28th October in Riyadh, Fury earned a close split decision win over Ngannou in a 10-round, non title fight, although the verdict was met with much controversy. Many fans feel Ngannou, who despite being the underdog proved a very difficult challenge to Fury and even dropped him in round three, as the actual winner of the fight, with talks of a rematch gaining center stage.
Speaking to The MMA Hour, Hearn opined that while Tyson did manage to secure a win over Ngannou, its going to have an impact on him.
“I think Tyson is going to find it difficult over the next few weeks, because it’s going to be on top of him,” said Hearn. “And he doesn’t like that. He won’t like the criticism. And he’ll probably take a break from social media or media and just sort of slip away, and say, ‘I’m going to just chill,’ and family time and Christmas and stuff like that. But it will hurt him, the criticism, because it’s massively tainted his legacy.”
Prior to the Ngannou fight, Fury had claimed that his undisputed championship clash with Usyk was going to take place on 23rd December, with no confirmation from the other party. The two, however, met in the ring after the Ngannou fight, mutually consenting to make the fight happen at a later date next year.
Hearn believes that while FUry vs. Usyk stays in the works, its now going to be less exciting as Fury vs. Ngannou 2 is all where the hype lies for now.
“It’s an interesting dynamic now. I said after the interview, it was a bit of a snap reaction, that the Usyk-Fury fight is dead,” Hearn went on. “It’s obviously not dead. It’s still a big fight. But the value of that fight has plummeted. Because really, you want to see him rematch Francis Ngannou. And I think Francis Ngannou now sits there with plenty of opportunities.”
“It’s actually amazing for boxing and MMA. A lot of people are saying, ‘This is terrible for boxing, some guy has just come in and beat Tyson Fury. It’s like, mate, do you know how many people are talking about boxing today? Actually, I just got back, I’ve been to the gym [and] everyone’s talking about it – and if you’re Francis Ngannou right now, you’re sitting there as one of the most valuable boxers in the world. And you’re right, he can go back into the MMA world and have a massive fight. Now he’s a huge name. Huge. Good luck to him,” he added. [H/T Boxing Scene]