TYSON FURY’S sparring partner Martin Bakole has claimed the Brit “was not 100 per cent” focused on Francis Ngannou ahead of their showdown in October.
But the sporting world was left stunned in the third round as The Gypsy King was sent tumbling to the canvas.
He got back to his feet and sealed a controversial split-decision victory, but his performance left many thoroughly underwhelmed.
Prior to the fight, it was confirmed he would face Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight crown providing he came through Ngannou.
Fury-Usyk is now set for February 17 as they both bid to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
And Bakole, 30, who sparred Fury in the lead-up to his clash with Ngannou, has revealed the Usyk bout being signed was a distraction for the Morecambe boxer.
Speaking to IFL TV, Bakole said: “To be honest, I was in Tyson Fury’s camp.
“If you watch my interview [at the event] when people are asking me, I was saying I will not be surprised to see Ngannou drop Tyson Fury, because, to be honest, Tyson was not 100 per cent focused in the gym.
“For me, my opinion is the signed contract with Usyk affected his mind for the Ngannou fight.”
He then went on to add: “I’ve never seen Tyson training like that.
“He was doing four rounds, six rounds in the gym for sparring… Maybe he’s watching this and knows he wasn’t 100 per cent focused.
“That’s not the Tyson Fury I know when he was preparing for Klitschko, Chisora, and Dillian Whyte. This was different.”
As Fury prepares for undefeated Ukrainian Usyk, 36, it has now been revealed that Ngannou will face Anthony Joshua on March 9.
Both blockbuster heavyweight dust-ups are taking place in Saudi Arabia, with AJ eyeing the winner of the undisputed bout as he hopes to finally get his hands on Fury.