John Fury, father of heavyweight champion, Tyson, has defended his son’s controversial upcoming crossover clash with former UFC superstar, Francis Ngannou, and says Anthony Joshua would have done the same if he had the opportunity.
Fury confirmed the spectacle this week and the announcement was met by plenty of criticism, with boxing fans believing that the WBC champion should instead be fighting genuine contenders.
In an interview with Boxing Social via Free Bets Ireland, John Fury praised the event and compared it to Muhammad Ali’s crossover bout against Antonio Inoki in 1976.
“It’s great. Good business, good pay-day and a great night, a fun night, and that is what Tyson needs. It’s a different format to conventional boxing, it’s a crossover fight, I just think it will bring a lot of eyes and a lot of bums on seats.
How do you train for a man like Francis Ngannou? You can’t. You can’t get sparring for him, you can’t replicate him, it’ll be difficult to. So what he has got to do is take his best game in that ring and put his best foot forward. Whatever it is, exhibition rules, ‘no-knockdown’ rules, that is all rubbish. When those two gigantic men step into the ring and face each other, egos take over. People will be thrown on the floor, there will be a few elbows going in, should be a few cuts and bruises on either side, it will be a fun night.
Absolutely, [AJ would have taken this fight whilst champion] and if they say not, they’re lying. Muhammad Ali done the same thing, he was lineal champion and he done the same thing. I remember it when I was a kid, we watched it, we couldn’t wait to watch it.”
Tyson Fury will meet Ngannou on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – whether the fight will count on the professional record of either man is yet to be confirmed.