The World Boxing Council (WBC) has rewarded Cameroon-born former UFC champion Francis Nganou in 10th place in the latest ranking of heavyweight boxers following his impressive debut against Tyson Fury.
Nganou last month faced the ‘Gypsy King’ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and lost controversially by split decision despite flooring the British.
Ngannou pushed WBC champion Tyson Fury all the way in a 10-round contest in Riyadh and there is now talk of him fighting against British born, former heavyweight champion of Nigerian descent, Anthony Joshua.
Ngannou has since signalled his intention to continue his career in boxing and has now been placed in 10th spot of the WBC rankings.
Earlier this month, Matchroom Sport chair Eddie Hearn suggested Ngannou could be a future opponent for Joshua.
The WBC, one of the sanctioning bodies for top-flight boxing categories, announced its rankings for its respective weight divisions during a ratings session in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, John Fury, Tyson’s father, claims his son needs more time to prepare for his undisputed heavyweight world title fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury will fight bitter rival Usyk on February 17 in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the contentious win over Nganou.
‘The Gypsy King’ had to pick himself up off the canvas to beat Ngannou by just a point on the judges’ scorecards, with the damage he sustained in the fight pushing back his fight with Usyk from their originally planned December 23 date.
Usyk was ringside for Fury’s fight with Ngannou and was shouting instructions for his rival in the hopes of keeping their undisputed fight alive. Fury refused to make any excuses and praised Ngannou for being his toughest opponent in the last decade whilst boasting a black eye and grazed forehead.
“February 17 is the date they have got to work towards. In my opinion, Tyson needs a bit more time to get his conditioning right and his weight right. He is taking more punches now than he has taken in his whole career and that could have shortened his career.
“That is the worry we have got here. Tyson is a remarkable man but sometimes he needs to listen to a bit of common sense,” John told Metro.
“For my money, his last three fights, I have seen a bit of decline. Not a decline in ability but a decline in strength, power and physical condition.
“I don’t know what they are doing up there, you have to address it. He didn’t look himself out in Saudi. He would have been better boxing off the back foot, slipping and sliding,” John said.
Usyk and his team were goaded by Fury at the first press conference for their undisputed fight earlier this month which has added more tension as the February 17 fight builds up.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.