The boxing world collectively cringed when footage of Francis Ngannou hitting the pads surfaced on social media last month, so cumbersome did the MMA star look when being put through his paces by Mike Tyson.
Tyson Fury, who will lock horns with Ngannou on October 28, has had his say on the clips – and isn’t reading as much into it as some fans and pundits.
In a recent interview with Boxing King Media, Fury explained that pads “don’t mean anything,” before adding that he has made sure he be at his absolute best against Ngannou in Riyadh.
“Do you know what? Pads don’t hit back. I’ve seen many people flashy on the pads, but they don’t mean anything. So I don’t take too much from that.”
“He’s coming in big, strong and game – and he’s got a lot to prove. So I’m taking him 100% serious. No matter who I’m fighting on Saturday, I couldn’t have trained any harder anyway! He’s getting the best, peak fitness Tyson Fury.”
Most in the sport believe victory will be a mere formality for Fury, and it would go down as one of the biggest upsets in boxing history if Ngannou was somehow to do the unthinkable and defeat him.
A win for ‘The Gypsy King’ will set up a mouth-watering undisputed clash against Oleksandr Usyk, with both men having already signed contracts for the first four belt unification in the history of the heavyweight division.
Though there has been no word on a date or venue as of yet, the contest is expected to land in Saudi Arabia in either late December or January.