Tyson Fury will face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou in a crossover event this October in Saudi Arabia which has been met with a generally poor reaction from boxing fans.
At the other end of the scale, Terence Crawford is set to fight Errol Spence Jr in Las Vegas this month – perhaps the best example in some time of the best facing the best.
The contests are stark in their differences, the undisputed welterweight bout being about legacy and presenting a genuinely intriguing level of competitiveness.
Fury-Ngannou is a mega-money spectacle that’s a step away from the sport, and many are calling it as one-sided as it gets.
Crawford goes along with that view. Asked at a recent solo press conference how much of a chance he gave Ngannou, he answered with one word and a shrug. Zero.
Terence Crawford gives Francis Ngannou '0 shot' to beat Tyson Fury in boxing pic.twitter.com/Fgjatq09yN
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) July 19, 2023
The bout will be sanctioned and the result will appear on the fighters’ records, but Fury’s WBC world title will not be on the line. He has been given ‘special permission’ by the sanctioning body to step away from his duties as champion for this event.
Despite being a knockout artist in MMA, Ngannou will box professionally for the first time against Fury. He follows in the footsteps of Conor McGregor, who was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather back in 2017.
He is said to be seeking the guidance of former heavyweight champions, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, ahead of October 28.
Should Ngannou, 36, rock the boat and win, he says Fury has a rematch clause. If Fury wins as expected, fans will look for him to re-enter negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk – should he still hold the other three world titles – for an undisputed bout of his own.