Francis Ngannou is a man in-demand on the heavyweight boxing scene following a ten-round fight with Tyson Fury.
Whilst he lost the split decision, the former UFC Champion left the ring a moral victor after knocking Fury down and out-performing all expectations of him pre-fight.
The spectacle in Saudi Arabia was attended by boxing legends and some of the biggest names from sport and showbiz. It was reported this week that the businessmen behind it wanted Ngannou to fight again as soon as December 23.
Speaking to TMZ Sports in response to Anthony Joshua’s promoter saying his man would fill the opposite corner on that date, Ngannou said that it was ‘too soon.’
“First of all it’s to soon. Secondly, my most focus as far as boxing is concerned is my rematch with Tyson Fury. That’s the most important thing for me right now, everything else in boxing comes after.”
The winter date had been previously reserved for Fury’s undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk, but the tough ten rounds for the Brit sees that pushed back until February 2024.
Ngannou wants a rematch, and is willing to wait until that fight takes place to get it.
“I would be willing to wait, they are going to fight sometime in February instead of December 23, which is my fault, I shouldn’t have cut him, then they would fight in December and then maybe we would have run it back earlier next year.”
A reported two-way rematch clause perhaps ruins those plans, and Ngannou may return to MMA before he can discuss a rematch with Fury.
Despite offers from Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Derek Chisora among others, it looks like Ngannou’s fighting is done for 2023.