1) Tough enough

Whether you felt he won the fight or not, one thing is certain: Francis Ngannou showed he was more than tough enough to go the distance with Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion. That sets him apart from many others, including recent Fury opponents Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora.


2) Captain Hook

While perhaps not technically perfect, or even a shot he was able to repeat as much as he would have liked, there can be no denying Ngannou’s left hook carries power. The look on Fury’s face when down on the canvas as a result of it in round three should tell us that much.


3) No fear

Although he could have dined out on that Fury performance for the rest of his life, and forever claim he had been robbed, Ngannou decided to instead build on it. Now he fights Anthony Joshua, another fighter whose experience and skill-level are for Ngannou out of reach.


4) Fit for war

Often we have seen Fury tire opponents out by constantly moving away from them and occasionally leaning on them, but Ngannou was quite different. It was in fact Ngannou who pushed the pace and wanted to fight when Fury wanted to move.


5) Super strength

Of all the things that impressed and surprised us against Fury, there was perhaps nothing more impressive and surprising than the strength Ngannou showed up close and in clinches. No doubt the result of his time in MMA, this incredible strength had Fury wanting nothing to do with Ngannou on the inside.

Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury exchange punches (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)


6) Gracious loser

Whereas plenty of people made a fuss of Fury’s split-decision win that night, Ngannou simply left them to it. He accepted the decision, took it as a learning experience, and moved on, promising he would return.


7) Saudi love

What makes Ngannou’s fling with boxing all the more appealing for the Cameroonian has a lot to do with how fancied he is by the money men in the Middle East. They seemingly can’t get enough of him and will presumably continue inviting him back.


8) In demand

Even if Ngannou, as expected, loses against Joshua on Friday and his record becomes 0-2, there will still be interest in him as a future opponent by virtue of him now being a big name in the heavyweight division.


9) Still a mixed martial artist

Despite momentarily focusing on boxing, Ngannou remains a mixed martial artist signed to the PFL (Professional Fighters League) and there are even rumours his next fight will be against Brazilian Renan Ferreira (probably in a desert) in the summer.


10) Wild card

If before he was seen as a freak show attraction, or something for Fury to dismiss in double-quick time, now that has all changed. Now, in the context of this Joshua fight, Ngannou is viewed as a potential banana skin and a man with whom you shouldn’t mess around.

Joshua and Ngannou (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)