Francis Ngannou vs. Tyson Fury: Sports stars react to former UFC champion’s inspirational boxing debut

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Francis Ngannou won’t walk away with an official victory over Tyson Fury, but he is certainly the spiritual winner. Ngannou earned the sports world’s respect in an inspiring split decision loss to the reigning WBC heavyweight champion. Many believe Ngannou deserved the nod and some of the biggest stars in and out of combat sports expressed such feelings online.

Ngannou has overcome obstacles his entire life, but making his boxing debut against Fury was deemed a project 10 bridges too far. Yet Ngannou knocked down Fury (34-0-1) and fought competitively over the course of 10 rounds. It was Ngannou’s first fight since willingly leaving the UFC and vacating his heavyweight title in pursuit of greener pastures. 

From NBA stars to UFC champions and beyond, take a look below at how the world is reacting to Fury vs. Ngannou.

Philadelphia 76ers player Joel Embiid called foul play after his fellow Cameroonian lost on the cards.

Social media influencer Logan Paul, who has dabbled in celebrity boxing and has a budding career in the WWE, also argued that Ngannou was the deserving winner.

Jake Paul, younger brother of Logan Paul, also chimed in. Jake Paul was shocked by the effort put forth by the former UFC champion.

Reigning UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland has trained with Ngannou, but he did not believe the fight would be as competitive as it was. Strickland was equally enthusiastic and shocked after Ngannou scored the knockdown.

Olympic gold medalist and former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo got a little too excited about Ngannou potentially making history as lineal UFC and WBC heavyweight champion.

Plenty of Ngannou’s fellow former UFC champions shared words of encouragement, excitement and respect for Ngannou’s admirable performance.

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is craving Ngannou vs. Deontay Wilder in a meeting of combat sport’s hardest-hitting heavyweights.

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