The upcoming Tyson Fury versus Tyson Ngannou crossover bout has been met with strong criticism from some in the sport of boxing.
Fury spent time following the collapse of his undisputed negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk entertaining talk from heavyweight contenders, but ultimately landed on a fight with Ngannou, who will make his boxing debut.
Writing in his column for the Mirror, Hall of Fame fighter turned manager, Barry McGuigan, said it was ‘maddening’ that the top men in the division were not fighting one another.
He zoned in on Fury’s bout, labelling it ‘circus not sport.’
“In October he is facing an opponent who has never even boxed. MMA is not boxing. Francis Ngannou can’t kick Fury into submission. Neither can he wrestle him to the ground.
No matter how physically imposing Ngannou might be, how hard he hits, he is not a credible opponent for a heavyweight world champion. It is not a serious fight for grown-ups. It’s reality TV, a circus curiosity, but not sport.
I’m sure the Saudis are filling the Fury vault. Fair enough if making money is the name of the game. But not if you want to be taken seriously as a great champion. You can do both.”
Fury and Ngannou will fight under boxing rules for ten three-minute rounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 28. Fury’s WBC world title will not be on the line.
It means that he’s unlikely to defend it at all this year, something that the sanctioning body has given him ‘special permission’ for.
He’s expected to re-enter talks with Usyk to make a fight for all four belts following this step away from the sport.