The Battle of the Baddest, as Saturday's main event on ESPN+ PPV was billed, featured two of the world's top-ranked heavyweights facing each other in a pro boxing match with no real title on the line. But what figured to be a glorified sparring session against WBC champion Tyson Fury ended up being Francis Ngannou's coming out party in the boxing realm.
Ngannou made his boxing debut Saturday at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a +800 underdog against Fury, who was a -1400 favorite at BetMGM. Bettors holding a Fury ticket, however, were likely sweating through the majority of the fight after Ngannou dropped Fury in the third round and looked not at all like a first-timer in the ring.
Fury still ended up winning the fight by scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 94-95, but not without having to postpone his planned Dec. 23 heavyweight title unification bout versus Oleksandr Usyk.
Here's how the main card unfolded:
Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou results
Heavyweight: Tyson Fury def. Francis Ngannou by split decision (96-93, 95-94, 94-95)
Heavyweight: Fabio Wardley def. David Adeleye by TKO in R7
Heavyweight: Joseph Parker def. Simon Kean by TKO in R3
Heavyweight: Arslanbek Makhmudov def. Junior Anthony Wright by TKO in R1
Heavyweight: Moses Itauma def. Istvan Bernath by TKO in R1