The rumours that Tyson Fury will be facing Francis Ngannou are set to be confirmed very soon, according to combat sports journalist, Ariel Helwani.
Fury currently holds the WBC World Heavyweight title, but has been struggling to find an opponent for a defence. The sanctioning body – much to the frustration of fans – hasn’t been forthcoming in calling a mandatory, leaving ‘The Gypsy King’ to do what he wants.
That appears to be a crossover bout with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ngannou. The Cameroon-born MMA star left that promotion, and has been open about dipping his toes into boxing for the mega-money on offer.
Tyson Fury x Francis Ngannou is expected to be announced very soon, per sources.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 7, 2023
Whilst he’s entertained talks with Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, Ngannou has always been keen on the Fury bout, and even stepped in the ring with him last April after his knockout of Dillian Whyte.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, has promised a ‘game-changing’ announcement for his fighter, and told fans that he will be out around September.
There have been various reports and rumours – none yet verified – as to how the contest will look. Rival promoter, Eddie Hearn – who was also keen on Ngannou for his man Joshua – told Boxing Social he believed it would be an exhibition fight with a no knockdown rule.
Whatever the terms, it’s certain to draw a huge crowd and be extremely successful. The crossover between MMA and boxing has been a proven money-maker, first truly shown by Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, and then subsequently tapped into by Jake Paul.
Whilst the event’s success is almost undoubtable, how boxing fans will feel about it is another story entirely. The heavyweight division has been at a frustrating stalemate all year, and, as the top dog, Fury is catching the blame.
The fact that there hasn’t yet been – and won’t until August 26 when Oleksandr Usyk faces Daniel Dubois – a world title fight in the weight class paints a depressing picture of the activity of the biggest boxers in the world.