Francis Ngannou can address Kamaru Usman loan after fight | Boxing | Sport

Francis Ngannou can address Kamaru Usman loan after fight | Boxing | Sport

Francis Ngannou, former UFC champion who has shifted to boxing, now has the means to pay back a loan from his UFC rival and mate, Kamaru Usman. This has all become possible after he went toe-to-toe with Anthony Joshua in the ring.

Ngannou began his boxing career facing the mighty Tyson Fury and then took on Anthony Joshua, also known as AJ. With “The Gypsy King,” it was a tight bout many reckon he had won but a judge’s decision didn’t go his way.

With Joshua, however, things were far from rosy. The 34 year old showed no mercy and dealt with Ngannou just like how Ngannou used to vanquish his opponents inside the octagon when he was in UFC.

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Joshua served up a knockout punch that left 37-year-old Ngannou down for the count. Even though he was floored in the match, Ngannou pocketed an estimated $20.1 million, which is more than enough to pay back Usman.

Usman had lent him money during a hard time when he said bye-bye to UFC. “He knew about stuff I turned down from the UFC during negotiation,” Ngannou confessed to the Pound 4 Pound podcast.

Francis Ngannou  spoke about taking a hefty pay cut for his last fight in the organisation. “Even my last fight in the UFC, you know I took $600,000 in my last fight in the UFC as opposed to the $5 million that they were offering for the same fight. I was like, ‘Bro.’ And, I was broke, at the time. I owe Usman, I owe him $200,000.”

In January 2023, Ngannou lost his title after disagreements with the UFC over a new deal. He shared with Ariel Helwani, a combat sports journalist, that he wanted health insurance, sponsorships for all UFC fighters, and an advocate during contract talks.

When these requests were turned down by the UFC, Ngannou took the bold move of leaving the organisation – becoming the first reigning champ to do so since B.J. Penn in 2004. Then, in May 2023, he signed up with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) to follow his boxing dream.

However, things haven’t gone as planned with his boxing career yet. After losing to Anthony Joshua, he made a heartfelt apology to his fans. “Sorry guys I let you all down,” he tweeted with a sad face. “Today was a bad day in the office but tomorrow will be another day. Thank you all for the love.”

Post-fight, Joshua was even heard encouraging his defeated opponent to stick with boxing and shared some uplifting advice with him. “I said don’t let this discourage you, don’t let success get to your head and you should never let failures get to your heart,” he said in his post-fight press conference. “I told him I think he’s an asset to boxing, he’s an asset to the fight game. Don’t be discouraged and I respect you regardless. I said keep your head high, don’t let this shade everything that you’ve been through and everything that’s yet to come in your career.”

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