Tyson Fury versus Francis Ngannou may be considered a crossover contest, but there are some traditional fights propping it up that are sure to entertain boxing fans.
The mega-money event is set for October 28 in Saudi Arabia as the opening of Riyadh Season, and will see undefeated two-time world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, welcome MMA star Ngannou to the boxing ring for the first time.
Reaction the the contest was mixed, especially given the fact that Fury is an active champion in the sport’s most marketable division, and anger has been directed towards the WBC for failing to find him a mandatory challenger.
Still, the show goes on, and the co-promotion between Riyadh Season, Top Rank and Queensberry has delivered an intriguing undercard with no less than four heavyweight match-ups.
First up is British champion Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) against fellow undefeated prospect, David Adeleye (12-0, 11 KOs). The pair made headlines for a scuffle at the kick-off presser that left Wardley cut, but he has been cleared to fight on the night.
His British title will not be on the line given that the bout takes place in the Middle East and not on home soil. Regardless, the champion has promised to give it his all.
“I don’t know how to quantify how my desire to win by knockout has increased after what happened but, yes, substantially. Massively, because I am a professional person and I like to act like a professional, but if you want to go early, then that’s fine, and I am ready to go at any minute.”
Next up is the return of former world champion and Fury training partner, Joseph Parker (32-3, 22 KOs). The New Zealand native faces Canada’s Simon Kean (23-1, 22 KOs).
Parker looks to gain some momentum with a third win since a crushing stoppage loss to Joe Joyce last year. It’s a big step up for Kean, who has fought outside his home country just once and is yet to be scheduled for the 12-round distance.
Russia’s Arslanbek Makhmudov looks to move 18-0 against Croatia’s Agron Smakici (19-2, 17 KOs). Makhmudov has ended all but one of his contest by knockout, and has built a reputation as a power-punching bully inside the ropes.
Finally, Queensberry prospect Moses Itauma will return on the bill, looking to move to 6-0 over an as yet unnamed opponent.