Tyson Fury has come out to say “blame me” for what admitted was a “below par performance” from the WBC heavyweight champion of the world against MMA fighter, Francis Ngannou, who knocked the pro boxer down and who many feel deserved to win the match.
Fury faced former UFC fighter Ngannou, who had no previous orthodox boxing experience prior to the cross-discipline bout, on Sunday night and despite emerging victorious following a split decision, has sparked controversy across the fighting world, with many claiming the result was ‘rigged’.
Ngannou, 37, managed to deck ‘The Gypsy King’ in the third round and, in many viewers eyes, was the more dominant and aggressive of the two fighters on the night, but the judges still ruled 96-93 and 95-94 in Fury’s favour, with only the third judge scoring the Cameroonian-Frenchman ahead by 95-94.
While the fallout from the fight is still simmering — Mike Tyson, Carl Froch, Chris Eubank, Eddie Hearn, Ngannou himself and many more insisting that he should have won — a couple of days on from the fight, Fury has now come out to shed some light on how it went down, admitting he wasn’t at his best.
Speaking to iFL TV ahead of flying home from the equally controversial fight venue in Saudi Arabia, the 35-year-old from Wythenshawe argued that although he believes there’s no one to blame for the fight not necessarily going according to plan, if blame has to be placed on anyone it should be him.
“It wasn’t the best performance but I’m not going to make any excuses, said Fury. “I had a good camp… It was a tough fight, I had to get off the floor to win… yeah, it was a below-par performance but take nothing away from the other man. You’re only as good as your opponent will let you be and that’s a fact”.
Insisting that he “didn’t train for a fight like that”, Fury went on to add, “There’s no ‘who to blame’ — blame me. There’s no ‘blame the trainer’, ‘blame the manager’, ‘blame the cutman’; blame me if you’re gonna blame anybody. It was what it was — it’s the fight game, not tap dancing.
Detailing exactly why the ex-UFC fighter was difficult to deal with, the Manc boxing icon described Ngannou’s style as “a lot more awkward than [he] thought he was going to be”, refusing to “walk on” to more of the traditional shots you would expect from someone who hasn’t typically trained as a boxer.
He also explained the knockdown as a result of him “being greedy” and wanting to get in an extra hit after a one-two which simply resulted in his opponent catching him on the way out. While many fight fans will continue to argue the final decision was incorrect, the official CompuBox punch stats did seem to reveal that Fury landed more hits and that Ngannou simply landed a few extra power shots.
Ultimately, Fury did concede that he “was good at what he was doing”, adding, “Fair play to him… he gave me a better fight than all the boxers did in the last 10 years”. Some pretty high praise.
Featured Image — iFL TV (via YouTube)/Francis Ngannou (via Twitter)
Erling Haaland breaks yet another goalscoring record in the Champions League
Erling Haaland is back to business as per usual, a.k.a. breaking records left, right and centre — this time in the Champions League following Manchester City’s incredible comeback against RB Leipzig.
Haaland was one of three different names on the scoresheet during their 3-2 win over the Bundesliga side along with Stockport’s very own Phil Foden and fellow striker Julián Álvarez, and while both are becoming increasingly more prolific, it was the big blonde bagsman who got them on their way.
Scoring in the 54th minute to get things moving, the Norwegian number nine notched what was his 40th goal in the Champions League, becoming the quickest player to do so in just 35 games.
To put that in context of where he already ranks amongst the great goalscorers of years gone by, not only did he manage 40 goals in 35 appearances in the UCL but he also did it in a whole 10 games fewer than the next fastest, Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy. Unreal.
To be honest, Haaland broke so many records in his first year at the Etihad — such as most goals by a Man City player in a single campaign, most goals in a Premier League season and fastest to player to reach three hattricks, just to name a few — nothing really surprise us anymore.
Now on 19 goals and four assists all told in the opening 20 games of 23/24 and well on course for a second consecutive golden boot, while we’ll have to wait and see if he can equal or better his incredible tally of 63 goal contributions in all competitions, if there’s anyone that can do it’s him.
Haaland’s inevitability and Pep Guardiola‘s other in-form forwards resulted in the Blues not only securing qualification for the knockout stages but a top spot finish in their group after already putting a whole six points between them and the German team with a game to spare.
As for domestically, the treble-winners will hope to put last weekend’s 1-1 draw against title rivals Liverpool behind them and notch a victory over Spurs whose impressive start to the season is now begin to stutter following a number of injuries and dip in form.
City sit in second place on 29 points and just one point behind league leaders Arsenal who face Wolves on Saturday after their own Champions League fixture against RC Lens on Wednesday night.
It’s neck and neck as we barrel towards the Christmas period and, from a neutrals point of view, that’s what we love to see.
You can watch the full highlights of City’s fightback against Leipzig down below:
Featured Images — Man City (via Instagram)/Erling Haaland (via X)
Alejandro Garnacho gives the same boots he scored his overhead kick with to a young Man United fan
As if Manchester United supporters weren’t already ridiculously enamoured with their exciting young starlet, Alejandro Garnacho made an incredible gesture to a young fan after gifting him a pair of the very same boots he scored his incredible overhead kick with this past weekend.
In case you somehow missed it on Sunday, Garnacho scored one of the great Premier League, perhaps one of the best we’ve ever seen full stop, after burying an unbelievably beautiful bicycle kick into the far corner during Man United’s 3-0 win over Everton.
The 19-year-old is already a firm favourite amongst United fans and is tipped to do big things in his career after impressing in the first couple of years of his senior career, but interactions with wide-eyed little fans like this prove exactly why he has become so loved so quickly.
Surprising the die-hard young fans, the Standley boys — simply known as Harry and George to thousands of followers across multiple social media channels run by their parents — Garnacho doesn’t just stop to say hello to the loyal little Reds, he gives George a pair of the exact Nike Mercurial boots he wore when he screamed home that unforgettable finish. As you can expect, it blows his tiny mind.
After telling the Argentine winger that his overhead kick was “the best goal [he’d] ever seen“, Garnacho then hands his smiley superfan an orange Nike box containing the boots through the window, to which he immediately replies that he “asked for these” for Christmas this year.
We were very much the same at your age, George — Christmas and birthdays were all about getting all the gear to convince our mates we were the next Rooney.
Revealing not only that they were the very same boots he was wearing when he leapt like a salmon for that now iconic overhead kick but that he had already signed his autograph on them, along with a personal message on the box it didn’t take long for the seven-year-old to start crying tears of joy at his out of the blue birthday present.
As mum continues to capture his reaction, George simply says, “I’m so happy”, before telling his footballing hero how much he loves him and calling him “the best in the world”. It is by no means the first time we’ve stumbled across the two very cute little kids.
This is also isn’t George and Garnacho’s first meeting either; far from it, as both he and his older brother Harry regularly wait outside Carrington and Old Trafford to meet their Man United idols — with the exciting youngster having been at the top of the list since he burst onto the scene.
Whilst the pair are also self-proclaimed Lisandro Martinez and Jadon Sancho superfans, over the past season or so in particular, Garnacho and George have developed a real bond and he has had the opportunity to meet the no.17 on a number of occasions.
We will never, EVER get tired of seeing little kids meeting their heroes — fair play to the young man for taking the time to make the little lad a day he’ll never forget. Happy birthday, George!
You can watch the highlights from the Red Devils’ away win against Everton down below. Any excuse to watch back that goal, to be honest.