Francis Ngannou will make his boxing debut against world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, on October 28 – and he’ll be assisted by a man who’s widely regarded as one of the most ferocious to ever step through the ropes.
The former UFC champion left that outfit and made it clear he was looking for a big-money welcome into boxing, and ‘The Gypsy King’ was more than happy to facilitate.
Although his WBC world title won’t be on the line, it’s reported that the ten-round contest will be under boxing rules and the result listed on professional records.
Ngannou has a heavyweight mountain to climb, and few if any in the sport are backing him to conquer it. In order to upset the odds, he has enlisted the help of Mike Tyson.
The MMA man had previously expressed an interest in having a helping hand from either ‘Iron’ Mike or Lennox Lewis, and the latter has reportedly agreed. How much involvement he will have on the night remains to be seen.
‼️ Francis Ngannou has now officially appointed Mike Tyson as one of his trainers for the Tyson Fury fight. Tyson will join Ngannou's camp and be in his corner on Oct 28th in Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/JbaSB8v6jO
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) August 3, 2023
On agreeing to become part of the training team, Tyson said:
“It is no secret I back Ngannou 100% in this face-off of champions. He has one hard punch, and when it lands, it’s game over.
I am looking forward to working with Ngannou and supporting his transition from the octagon to the boxing ring. He isn’t a combat novice, he is a world champion. The key will be combining his energy and combat skills into his punches and using his agility to move swiftly around the ring then delivering the knock-out blow. We’re here to win.”
The transition from MMA to boxing has typically been a tough one, especially when the boxer is on an elite level.
Fans feel the same about this event, and have expressed distaste at the champion Fury stepping away for a crossover bout when the heavyweight division is already in a relatively stagnant state.
Should he win as expected, he’ll look to re-enter talks with his fellow champion, Oleksandr Usyk, for a bout that would crown the first undisputed champion in the division since Lewis.
Mike Tyson – who held all available heavyweight titles early in his career – now looks to derail those plans.