Tyson Fury will face MMA star, Francis Ngannou, in a crossover event on October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Fury has held the WBC belt since February of 2022. Since then, he has successfully retained it in a rematch with former champion, Deontay Wilder, a mandatory defence against Dillian Whyte and a voluntary shot given to Derek Chisora.
To determine his next challenger, the WBC ordered their number one and two ranked contenders, Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jr, to fight a final eliminator last November. The pair have failed to come to terms.
Fury’s title will not be on the line against Ngannou, who is unranked and will be making his boxing debut. The WBC released a statement saying its heavyweight champion has received ‘special permission.’
“Mauricio Sulaiman said that Tyson Fury received special permission from the WBC to fight Francis Ngannou as there is no official challenger. He mentioned that Fury tried to close fights against Ruiz, Joshua and Usyk but no agreement was reached.”
Mauricio Sulaiman said that Tyson Fury received special permission from the WBC to fight Francis Ngannou as there is no official challenger.
He mentioned that Fury tried to close fights against Ruiz, Joshua and Usyk but no agreement was reached.
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) July 11, 2023
Many fans are of the mind that the sanctioning body should have changed its final eliminator order when Ruiz and Wilder didn’t agree a fight in a timely manner, offering the mandatory shot to another ranked contender.
Indeed, questions are being asked as to the rankings system as a whole, and how it has been completely ineffective in finding a fight for the world champion.
The reception to the crossover event – which will be under boxing rules – has been largely negative.
With the Ngannou bout in late October, and any talk of a fight with Usyk not happening until at least February 2024, as per Fury’s promoter Frank Warren, the WBC’s heavyweight champion of the world looks set to not defend his belt at all this year.