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Francis Ngannou’s performance in Saudi Arabia against Tyson Fury has been officially recognised by the WBC. 

The former UFC heavyweight champion lost a close (and controversial) split decision to the unbeaten WBC champion Fury after ten rounds of boxing in Riyadh in late October, dropping the ‘Gypsy King’ to the canvas with a left-hook in the third round. Ngannou’s performance was more competitive than many observers had expected in the lead-in to what was his professional boxing debut — with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman perhaps being among the most impressed, telling the media soon afterwards that Ngannou would be ranked by the organisation once its rankings ladder was updated.

And, as of Wednesday, it has been confirmed that Ngannou is recognised by the WBC as the tenth best heavyweight boxer in the world, according to numerous reports online.

“What I personally witnessed last night is a solid boxer, who deserves to be ranked by the WBC and I will make such recommendations to the ratings committee,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports the day after Fury’s close win over Ngannou.

The formalising of Ngannou’s WBC ranking means that the organisation is taking the very rare step of adding someone to the top ten list despite having just one professional bout to their name, and no victories.

Ngannou has suggested that a rematch with Fury could take place later this year, and after his February title unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk. The Cameroonian has also mentioned his interest in a showdown with fellow hard-hitter Deontay Wilder.