Tyson Fury will face MMA star Francis Ngannou in a crossover contest on October 28 in Saudi Arabia, meaning it’s highly likely that he won’t defend his WBC World Heavyweight title at all this year.
The sanctioning body has granted its champion special permission for the contest, which will be fought over ten rounds and under boxing rules.
Reception has been mixed to negative, with many heavyweights expressing distaste at the idea that a debutant has landed the shot at Fury rather than a bonafide contender.
One of those is Filip Hrgovic, who is currently number one with the IBF and first in line for a shot at Oleksandr Usyk’s world title.
He told Wasserman that the division was waiting for ‘The Gypsy King.’
“It’s an easy, easy job for big money. It’s good for both fighters and I have nothing against these kind of fights.
But, in this situation where we’re waiting for the next undisputed champion and where he’s stopping the whole division, I don’t think it’s a good move for him. I think it’s disrespectful to boxing fans and to the [sport.]
He should go for a unification, and then if he wins or if he retires he do these kind of fights. In this moment it’s disrespectful and stupid in this situation. We’re all waiting for the undisputed champion. He should box his mandatory of a unification.”
As for a prediction, Hrgovic believes there is absolutely no jeopardy for Fury in the fight.
“Of course he wins. It’s easy for him to win that fight. Easy job. They both make huge money for nothing. It’s good for both of them, but in this situation it’s not okay for boxing.”
Should he win as expected, fans will expect Fury to do all in his power to negotiate a fight with fellow champion, Usyk – something that has proved frustratingly difficult so far.