Tyson Fury may have an unusual opponent lined up for his next fight as boxing fans are speculating that the 34-year-old will face MMA star Francis Ngannou.
Fury has had a frustrating time of late as his much-anticipated clash with Ukrainian Oleksander Usyk has been called off twice. The bout was first due to take place in April before being cancelled and now the rearrangement, scheduled for the end of the year, has also fallen through.
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren is adamant that the bout will go ahead though, and has said that he’s aiming to get it set up for Saudi Arabia in January. Warren’s also thinking beyond January and told talkSPORT that he’s looking for an out-of-the-ordinary challenge that would represent a real ‘gamer-changer’ for Fury.
“Yeah, he’s up for that,” he explained. “The type of money something like that could generate – why wait for people saying, ‘Wait until next year,’ when you can make these fights now. Why wouldn’t you do that now?”
Who might Fury fight?
Warren’s tease immediately set boxing fans’ tongues wagging with many speculating that he could only be talking about three fighters. The first is Usyk, who’s already on the cards with a firm date to be decided. The second is Anthony Joshua, the British two-time former unified heavyweight champion of the world.
Both would be lucrative bouts that would draw plenty of media attention and get fans tuning in, but they wouldn’t necessarily be game-changing. Fans are speculating that only a cross-sport clash that brought boxing together with MMA would do that, and so Ngannou is the natural choice
There’s been talk of the bout before, but the financials and contract situation has never quite worked out for either Fury or Ngannou, but it seems an exhibition bout is moving ever nearer.
Not everyone is so keen on the idea though. Speaking to talkSPORT, former boxer and current commentator and analyst within the sport Tony Bellew called it a ‘freak show’, saying: “It would be an absolute mismatch, it’s a joke.”
Ngannou is a major star in MMA and made his debut with victory over Luis Henrique in December 2015. He’s won 17 of his 20 fights since then, 12 by knockout, but left the organization in January this year after they failed to find an agreement on a contract.
He’s made no secret of his desire to get a boxing career up and running, and alongside a match-up with Fury, it’s also rumored that a bout with Deontay Wilder could be on the cards. Making the switch to boxing would certainly be lucrative for Ngannou and put him in a unique bracket few others fighters have explored.
Meanwhile, Fury is 34 fights deep into his boxing career and has won 33 of them: 24 by knockout, nine by decision. The only blip has been a draw with Deontay Wilder in December 2018. The pair fought again two years later, in February 2020, and then once more in October 2021, with Fury winning both to claim and retain his titles.
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.