• Fury, 35, has received strong criticism following the poor display against Ngannou, but Frampton, a former two-weight world champion, believes the reaction has been over the top.
• Ngannou, who made his professional boxing debut on Saturday, was able to knock Fury down with a well-timed counter, the seventh time Fury has hit the floor in a boxing ring.
Carl Frampton insists Tyson Fury remains a likely winner against Oleksandr Usyk despite his below-par performance against Francis Ngannou.
Fury secured a controversial split decision victory in Saudi Arabia and will fight Usyk next in a unification heavyweight bout.
Frampton believes Fury can still have the edge over Usyk, despite the scare on Saturday against Ngannou.
“I still have Fury as a favourite against Usyk,” Frampton told BBC Sport. “He obviously needs to be much better than he was in his last fight, which he will be.”
A fight between Fury and Usyk was scheduled to take place on 23 December, but BBC Sport understands that is now doubtful, with Fury’s team keen for the fight to take place in February after a gruelling encounter with Ngannou.
Fury is the WBC champion, and although the belt was not on the line against Ngannou, the Briton almost lost his undefeated record as a boxer. After Fury was announced a narrow winner, Usyk, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, came face to face with the ‘Gypsy King’ in a somewhat anti-climatic staredown in the ring.
Fury, 35, has received strong criticism following the poor display against Ngannou, but Frampton, a former two-weight world champion, believes the reaction has been over the top.
“He [Fury] didn’t let the boxing community down, but he’s probably upset and annoyed at himself because it was a poor performance,” Frampton said. “It seems he’s doing too much. Both guys were at the gala dinner [in Saudi Arabia] the night before the event, what’s that about?
“I wouldn’t have been doing that if I was fighting. I would have been resting, but we all know Fury is much better than what we saw, and everyone is entitled to a bad performance once in a while.”
Although Fury struggled on Saturday, Frampton praised Cameroon-born Ngannou for his impressive display of boxing skills.
Ngannou, who made his professional boxing debut on Saturday, was able to knock Fury down with a well-timed counter, the seventh time Fury has hit the floor in a boxing ring.
“I couldn’t believe what I was watching at times. I expected Francis to look really wild and amateurish, novicey and be swinging from his feet, and he wasn’t,” Frampton said. “He had a nice stylish stance, he looked like he had been boxing for a long time. He was very tough and powerful. Fury couldn’t work him out.
“It was a harder night than anyone anticipated. This isn’t me being the boxer slamming the MMA guys. Who in their rational mind would have thought Francis would’ve pushed Fury like that?”
Frampton says Fury should reset before taking the fight with Usyk.
“He needs to go away and take a wee break. His life looks like it’s been manic with the Netflix stuff going on, he seems to be everywhere and he’s very accessible — maybe too accessible,” Frampton said.
“Fury just needs to have boxing at the forefront of his mind and let other people worry about the media obligations. He just needs to focus on boxing, and he will be back with a bang.”
The 5 Live Boxing Tour will take place around the United Kingdom over the next few months with Frampton and Paddy Barnes kicking off the first event in Belfast on Wednesday. For more information, subscribe and listen to the 5 Live Boxing podcast and visit here for ticket information as new shows are announced.