Frank Warren Talks Fury-Ngannou, UFC criticism

Tyson Fury may have retired from boxing but ‘The Gypsy King’ still has interest in participating in combat sports, notably against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

The two heavyweights from the boxing ring and the Octagon have long talked about facing one another in their respective disciplines or in a crossover format. As well as a potential appearance at another WWE event it appears Fury could still very much be in the public eye over the next 12 months.

At a recent media lunch his UK promoter Frank Warren was asked about the possibility of Fury against Ngannou and whether he would be involved in such a promotion.

“Would I be involved? We’re his worldwide promoter outside the U.S,” Warren said. “He’s smart. He’s been very smart in what he’s done with his trainers. He got Ben Davison involved with him when he felt he had to lose the weight and when it come down to the nitty gritty, he got on board Sugar Hill.

“All I can do is give him the benefit of my advice. All I will ever tell him is what I feel he should do but I will not say you should do this… I wouldn’t even attempt to go there. He’s a smart individual and whatever he decided to do will be for the benefit of himself and his family and that’s how it should be.”

A contentious topic of discussion continues to be the amount of pay received by UFC fighters. Fury’s last fight against WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte arrived after Warren (Queensberry Promotions) beat Matchroom at the purse bid table with a record $41 million dollars. Over $30m went to the champion with Whyte receiving $8.2m. In comparison Francis Ngannou was reported to have received $600,000 for his title defence against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January.

Frank Warren was asked if he thought that the UFC underpaid their fighters. The veteran promoter refused to criticise the company and instead praised its President Dana White.

“I don’t know what that model is. These guys sign up for it, they sign up to fight in UFC. They’ve got advisors, that’s their choice. For me boxers at the top level have always been the biggest paid sportsmen at their level. You only got to look at Forbes over the last god knows how many years. The highest paid guys have been Mayweather, Pacquiao. I think Tyson’s up there, even Joshua. They’re massively paid guys. I don’t know what they [UFC fighters] get. All I know is, quite rightly, boxers get paid serious amounts of money.

“I think what Dana White has done there is phenomenal. He’s built something out of nothing. He’s had a blank piece of paper, he’s built it. It’s a great business now IMG have got it. I don’t think any of their guys will beat any of our best guys. It’s a different discipline. I don’t know whether our guys would beat them in a cage but as a boxing match I don’t know think any of them will ever beat our guys. I’m not saying it disparagingly or taking anything away from them, they’re all highly trained and great athletes.”