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“Difficult to Say”: Eddie Hearn Remains Brutally Honest on Francis Ngannou Being Ranked in Top 10 WBC Rankings

Published 11/18/2023, 11:45 AM EST

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In the world of boxing, rankings often spark debates, but what happens when a UFC fighter crashes the party? Enter Francis Ngannou, a name more synonymous with the octagon than the ring, now rubbing shoulders with boxing’s elite in the WBC heavyweight top 10. The WBC recently decided to add the ‘Predator’ to their Top 10 Heavyweight rankings list, pushing long-time heavyweight contenders out of the fray.

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Eddie Hearn, a titan in boxing promotion, recently weighed in on this unusual situation. His words, laced with his trademark frankness, offer a unique take on Ngannou’s rapid ascent. Does Ngannou’s single yet impactful boxing match warrant such recognition?

Is Eddie Hearn happy with Ngannou’s ranking?


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In a recent ESNews interview, Eddie Hearn dissected Francis Ngannou’s meteoric rise in the boxing world. Ngannou, primarily known as a UFC heavyweight, stunned many by dropping Tyson Fury in their much-anticipated bout. This feat alone catapulted him into the spotlight, challenging the norms of boxing rankings. Before the fight, Fury, known for his bravado, had boldly claimed he could “drink 25 pints of beer and still beat” Ngannou. This boast added an intriguing backdrop to the clash, underscoring the shock of Ngannou’s performance.

Hearn, addressing this unexpected turn of events, remarked, “I don’t know, I mean should you be ranked in the top 10 after 1 fight? But after his performance, it’s difficult to say he doesn’t deserve to be there.” He continued, “There’s other fighters ahead of him who wouldn’t have done as well against Tyson Fury. So I don’t mind it, yeah I’m alright with it.”


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This statement captures Hearn’s ambivalence, recognizing both the unconventional nature of Ngannou’s rapid ascent and the undeniable impact of his performance against a seasoned boxer like Fury. Not only Eddie, Mike Tyson who mentored Francis, also had something to say about his ranking.


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A remarkable debut against the ‘Greatest fighter of Our time’

Mike Tyson, the legendary boxer, recently lauded Francis Ngannou for his impressive boxing debut against Tyson Fury, whom he labeled the “greatest fighter of our time.” Speaking at the WBC Convention 2023, Tyson emphasized the significance of Ngannou’s performance. “He did a great job with the greatest fighter of our time. First time boxing, faces the heavyweight champion,” Tyson remarked.

This recognition from such a revered figure in boxing underscores Ngannou’s remarkable feat. Additionally, WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán echoed Tyson’s sentiments, intending to recommend Ngannou to the WBC rating committee. Sulaimán described Ngannou as a “solid boxer” with much to offer the sport. This consensus from two influential figures in boxing highlights the extraordinary nature of Ngannou’s entry into the sport.


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Ultimately, this situation opens up broader questions about the criteria for boxing rankings and the recognition of talent crossing over from other combat disciplines. So, what are your thoughts on Ngannou’s swift ascent in the boxing world? Do you believe his performance against Fury justifies his top 10 ranking, or does it challenge the conventional norms of the sport too radically?

Watch this story: Father John Fury and Tommy Fury’s Honest reaction on Tyson Fury’s performance against Francis Ngannou

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Written by:

Mrinal Mishra


One take at a time

Growing up engrossed in sports, it was the compelling narrative of the Mike Tyson documentary that first pulled me into the magnetic world of boxing. This initial spark was further kindled by the unparalleled prowess and strategy of Floyd Mayweather, offering me a deeper appreciation for the sweet science. I am Mrinal, a senior writer for Boxing at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai