- Francis Ngannou put in a superb display to nearly upset Tyson Fury last month
- The UFC star has now been ranked in the top 10 in WBC’s heavyweight rankings
- Latest as huge list of big fighters head for Saudi on December 23: The Hook
Francis Ngannou has been ranked in the top ten of the WBC’s heavyweight rankings after just his first fight in professional boxing.
The Cameroonian put in an incredible performance to shock Tyson Fury in their ‘Battle of the Baddest’ clash in Saudi Arabia last month – knocking the WBC champion to the canvas in the third round – but ultimately lost on a split decision.
However, many punters and boxing experts believe he did enough to beat the Gypsy King across the 10 round contest and the Cameroonian still emerged with massive credit after his surprising performance on his first foray into the sport.
At the WBC’s 2023 convention on Tuesday, it was revealed that Ngannou was ranked at No 10 by the organisation – above British fighter Joe Joyce and highly-rated Croatian boxer Filip Hrgovic.
Just above Ngannou was Otto Wallin in ninth – with the Swedish fighter poised to face Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia next month – while Jared Anderson, Martin Bakole and Joseph Parker rounded off the bottom five.
Francis Ngannou has been ranked in the WBC’s heavyweight top ten after his impressive display against Tyson Fury
Ngannou knocked down Tyson Fury but still lost a controversial split decision last month
The top five – underneath champion Fury – were Deontay Wilder as No 1 challenger, Joshua at No 2, Canadian star Arslanbek Makhmudov, Frank Sanchez and Efe Ajagba.
Despite many feeling he won the contest, Ngannou said he would not be appealing the result and instead was hoping for a rematch against Fury.
‘Who am I gonna appeal to? [The British Boxing Commission]? I have no chance. I think that’s just another way of humiliation,’ he said.
‘The rematch is what I want next the most. As for right now I feel like there is a lot of options for me, but I want to choose wisely, and I would go for the rematch first.
‘My best scenario in boxing is to wait for Fury. If Usyk can step out and let me fight Fury, I’ll fight Fury, then I’ll let them do whatever they do. I’ll go back, maybe do some MMA fight and come back with some people in boxing.
‘I’m planning to fight potentially twice next year, [starting] maybe February or March.’
Big fights are on the horizon for Ngannou, with Anthony Joshua a possible opponent
Doors have now opened up for Ngannou following his sparkling debut – with future fights against the likes of Joshua now a possibility.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn even said it would be a huge fight and said there was a chance it could happen soon.
He told the BBC: ‘All of a sudden that fight between two giants, they’re carved out of stone, it becomes a massive fight. We’re definitely willing to consider it.
‘The MMA world believe Ngannou beats everyone. When I met Ngannou he was trying to pitch me AJ against Ngannou in Africa. I spoke to AJ about it at the time and he said ‘I want to try to win the world heavyweight championship now’.
‘I said “this guy was close to beating Tyson Fury so he surely has to be a credible fight”. The MMA world are telling me Ngannou beats AJ easily. I’m like “please make the fight because that’s not the case”.’