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“But You Just Don’t Give Up”: Following Francis Ngannou’s Top 10 WBC Rankings, Evander Holyfield Sends Motivating Message to All Fighters

Published 11/21/2023, 8:29 AM EST

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Whether Francis Ngannou deserves it or not, Tyson Fury never in a million years would have thought ‘The Predator’ would make his way to WBC’s top ten as a result of their fight. In a surprising turn of events, the Cameroonian-French mixed martial artist put on a show of a lifetime, nearly defeating the lineal heavyweight champion. So, it landed him in WBC’s top ten rankings. Following the rankings, Evander Holyfield has come out with a message for all fighters.

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While appearing in a recent interview with iFL TV, ‘The Real Deal’ expressed his thoughts on a similar scenario. The reporter questioned the former champion how he would feel if he was an active fighter and a newcomer managed to rank higher than him, despite a loss. Although the retired legend hasn’t entered the ring for quite a while now, Evander had a message ready to go for all the fighters!

Evander Holyfield reveals the secret behind becoming the best


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Speaking to iFL TV, Holyfield suggested that everyone is after the same goal of becoming the best, and by defeating each opponent, they get better. “You want to be the best, and so each and every time you beat somebody, you’re getting better,” said Holyfield. ‘The Real Deal’ went on to confess that every fighter falls short at one point or the other, so it’s better not to give up.

“Everybody falls short at times, but you just don’t give up,” Holyfield said. Further elaborating on his point, the Atlanta resident suggested boxers have to use it as a guiding principle. “That’s what Fighters have to keep reminding themselves, just don’t quit,” said Holyfield. Later, Holyfield stated, “If you don’t quit, you’re going on to be the very best you could be.” While Holyfield might not have any animosity with Ngannou’s ranking, the same can not be said about former pro boxer Andre Ward.


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Francis Ngannou in top 10: Andre Ward sends a message to WBC President


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While speaking to Ariel Helwani from the MMA Hour, Ward criticized the decision as politics played by the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman. “You’ve got guys that have been laboring to get into that top 10. I’m gonna call it what it is – it’s like politics,” said Ward.

He went on to suggest that Sulaiman gets upset when he talks about this topic and wants to talk to him privately. “Mauricio [Sulaiman] gets all in an uproar when I talk about these things. He wants to message me on WhatsApp,” said Ward. He ended by claiming that he doesn’t respect the WBC because of “the way they play with these rankings, play with guys’ livelihoods, and play with guys’ careers. Shame,” said Ward.


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With WBC’s decision to rank Francis Ngannou in the top ten, Evander tried to motivate fighters to not lose hope. Meanwhile, Andre Ward took a different approach, criticizing the officials for the decision. Do you think Ngannou deserves a spot on WBC’s top ten heavyweights?

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Written by:

Sudeep Sinha


One take at a time

The first time boxing captured my attention, it was because of a line I heard in the film 'Rocky Balboa', a film surrounding boxing. The line went like this, "But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai