Francis Ngannou mourns death of 15-month-old son Kobe in heartbreaking Instagram post

The former UFC champion, who has turned his career to heavyweight boxing, confirmed the tragic death of his son Kobe on social media

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 29 April 2024 23:19 BST
Francis Ngannou confirms death of one-year-old son

The heavyweight boxer and former UFC champion Francis Ngannou has opened up on the death of his young son Kobe in a heartbreaking post on Instagram.

Reports on Monday emerging from Cameroon suggested Ngannou’s 15-month-old son had tragically died, and the fighter confirmed the news, writing: “Too soon to leave but yet he’s gone. My little boy, my mate, my partner Kobe was full of life and joy. Now, he’s laying without life.”

The circumstances surrounding Kobe’s passing are unclear.

Ngannou had earlier tweeted on X: “‘What’s the purpose of life if what we’re fighting tooth and nail to get away from is what finally hit us the hardest!? Why is life so unfair and merciless? Why does life always take what we don’t have? I’m f***ing tired.”

Conor McGregor was among those in the combat community to send their condolences, writing: “I am so sorry to hear of your loss Francis, my prayers are with you and your family at this time.”

Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick, wrote: “It’s been a heavy few days, words can’t express the pain we all feel for the Ngannou family during this time. Please keep Francis and his family in your heart, and may this be a reminder of the fragility of life. Say ‘I love you’ more often, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

Ngannou’s life is an inspirational story after he endured a difficult childhood, working in a sand mine aged 10 to help support his family.

He moved to Paris where he began learning mixed martial arts, and soon he started winning and earned a lucrative UFC contract.

After losing his first title fight against Stipe Miocic in 2018, Ngannou came back with a series of devastating knockout victories to become a dominant heavyweight champion.

He left UFC in 2022 and has since moved into boxing, where he produced an impressive display against Tyson Fury, only narrowly losing to the multiple world champion.

However, Ngannou was knocked out by Anthony Joshua in March and was left to consider his future in the ring. After the fight he insisted he would continue his boxing career, saying: “I’ll process it and see what is the next step. Maybe MMA, but you can be sure that I’m not done here [in boxing]. Absolutely not. I’m not done.”

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