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Francis Ngannou


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Francis Ngannou

There is no sweeter victory than the one won when everyone else says it’s impossible. It not only proves naysayers wrong but much more tends to prove to the winner that they don’t need the words of anyone to make their dreams count. This is the case with Francis Ngannou, the Cameroonian former MMA heavyweight champion and the new contender in heavyweight boxing.

His much-talked fight with Tyson Fury, the current undefeated heavyweight boxing champion, happened on Saturday, 28th October, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with Fury emerging as winner by decision. That fight was a defining moment in the history of boxing. Like many others, you might have expected a knockout from Fury, but that did not happen. Almost the opposite is what happened.

Before the fight day, there was much buzz on the internet about how Francis, who had never fought in a professional boxing match, was going to fair with Tyson Fury. Some quarters predicted that Francis would not last more than two rounds. Fury himself said he was going to beat Francis even after drinking twenty-five pints of beer. The conversations against Francis before the fight were sour enough to knock him out even without Fury touching him.

So, imagine what it felt like when Francis put up a most spectacular ten-round fight with Fury and, in that one match, wrote his name among the top heavyweight boxers.

Even though Fury won the match by the judges’ split decision, it was clear from all angles that Ngannou won, but the win was given to Fury to save the boxing world some major embarrassment. From the reviews that flooded the internet after the fight, from both boxers and boxing enthusiasts alike, they all agreed that the win was given to Fury because the boxing world could not just come to terms with the fact that an MMA fighter would cross over to boxing and beat Tyson Fury the most celebrated champion of this generation. But all the same, Francis has proven once again that nothing is impossible for those who believe and work hard to make their belief count.

I wrote an article about Francis a while back in which I mentioned the mindset of a champion that Africans need to rise to the top. That article was about how Francis surmounted every mountain to become the world heavyweight champion in MMA.

The fight between Ngannou and Fury has happened, and the world now knows that a new heavyweight boxing champion has come to the stage. There is even a new report that Hollywood has decided to make a movie in honour of the life of Francis Ngannou.

The Msingi team has been following Francis’ story for a while, and we are greatly happy for him for all that he has achieved in a short time and for the many other great things he will achieve in the world of combat sports.

In his newfound life as a heavyweight boxer, one person who stands out, which I think Francis Ngannou cannot take for granted, is Mike Tyson. ‘Iron Mike’ gave everything there was to prepare Francis for the big fight, and from how things went, it was clear Mike was very proud of Francis and vocal about it.

Lessons learnt

Dreams do come to pass:

If there is one thing to learn from the life of Francis Ngannou, it is that dreams, no matter how huge they are and no matter what the obstacles are, come to pass.

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Positive support:

With the right people in our lives, everything is possible.And it’s not about those who support through empty words, but those who stay the course even when everyone else gives up on the way.

Nothing lasts forever:

After the fight between Francis and Fury, I watched in amazement how the boxing community suddenly seemed to turn against Tyson Fury. One minute he was their world champion; the next, he was a failure because a supposed debuting boxer gave him a good run for his money. Francis knocked him down in the third round. This also becomes advice to Francis: enjoy the moment of fame and glory for the hard work you put into the fight, but never let it get into your head or in your way. The people who are hailing you now, in one moment, can change their minds and turn against you if the table turns.

Welcome on board, Francis!

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